Brexit threat to GP numbers, warns RCGP

Written by Tom Freeman on 10 May 2017 in News

Amid an existing workforce shortage, 226 further GPs at risk as a result of Brexit, warns top doctor


Doctor - PA

GPs trained in other European countries could be lost to the workforce as a result of Brexit, the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (Scotland) has warned.

Dr Miles Mack said 226 of Scotland’s GPs took their primary degree from a European Economic Area (EEA) country, adding their loss would add to an already strained profession.

There is already a projected deficit of 828 whole-time equivalent GPs in Scotland by 2021.


Concerns over financing of ‘long overdue’ ten-year mental health strategy

New national data system launched for primary care in Scotland

Mack is today launching the RCGP general election manifesto which calls for the deficit to be addressed and funding gaps to be plugged.

“It must be made as easy as possible for doctors from the EU and other countries to move to the UK and work here,” he said.

“Inexplicably, GPs are not yet on the Shortage Occupation List and placing the profession there as a matter of urgency will ease visa applications for those who do want to come and serve our patients.

“The Scottish National GPs Performers List should be implemented as soon as possible and bureaucracy reduced to allow free movement of GPs throughout the four nations.”

SNP Westminster health spokesperson Dr Philippa Whitford said the figures showed the damaging effect of a ‘hard Brexit’.

''Doctors, nurses and care workers from many EU countries are vital to the functioning of hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes and yet, a full 11 months after the referendum, they are still  being treated as 'bargaining chips' by the Tories,” she said.

Scottish Labour's health spokesperson Anas Sarwar MSP said the crisis in GP numbers started before Brexit, and came from SNP cuts to primary care.

“A hard Tory Brexit will not help, but four times as many doctors and nurses come from other parts of the UK to work in Scotland's NHS compared to those that come from the rest of the EU,” he said.

“That's why we should be guaranteeing that those from the EU already working here can stay.

“But we would go further and call for a special arrangement for NHS staff so we can continue to attract health care professionals to come and work here and make Scotland their home.”




Related Articles

Holyrood committee calls for halt to use of mesh products in Scotland
21 August 2018

A moratorium on the use of mesh products is meant to be in place while an independent review is carried out, but the procedure continues to be used

No deal Brexit ‘potentially catastrophic’ for NHS, BMA warns
17 August 2018

The British Medical Association warns of potential staffing issues, delays to treatment and an end to reciprocal

Associate feature: Can Scotland become smokefree by 2034?
17 August 2018

Ross Parker, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Fontem Ventures, on achieving Scotland’s new Tobacco Control Strategy

Suicide action plans aims to reduce suicides in Scotland by 20 per cent
10 August 2018

The plan will be implemented by a National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group chaired by former deputy chief constable Rose Fitzpatrick

Share this page