More EU doctors
in the UK
than ever before

According to the General Medical Council (GMC), there are more doctors than ever before coming from mainland Europe to practise in the UK.

Figures show that southern Europe now provides the UK with more doctors than South Asia, which was previously its main source. Out of the total number of doctors who came to the UK in 2008, 18% were of south European origin whilst those who stemmed from South Asia totalled 28%. However, by 2013 this figure had fallen to 20%  whilst the number of southern European doctors had nearly doubled to 33%.

The GMC associates this change of source with the tightening of immigration rules applicable to non-EEA citizens. It claims that, after these changes were made in 2010, it became harder for international medical graduates to secure training and employment here. It has also claimed that the economic downturn in Europe and the increased opportunities made available to European graduates following changes in 2004 and 2007 may have had something to do with this rise.

Despite nearly 7,000 doctors arriving in the UK in 2013, the GMC is reporting shortages of skills within the healthcare system across the nation, with doctors feeling overloaded and ‘at risk of burning out’.

Share story
Back to top of page