New figures compiled by University of Manchester researchers have revealed that one fifth of practising GPs in England trained abroad and typically work in the country’s most deprived communities.
The team, based at the University’s Health eResearch Centre, say overseas GPs often support the most deprived communities, work longer hours, treat more patients, but are paid less than their UK-qualified counterparts.
Uncertainties about future immigration policy caused by Brexit could impact on the retention and replacement of foreign trained GPs – even from outside the EU – in an NHS already hit by a chronic shortage, they add.
The study, published today in BMC Medicine by BioMed Central is jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the NIHR, reveals that 4.1% of UK GPs were trained in the EU. The figure rises to 17% for doctors trained outside the EU.
The team draw their data from more than 90% of England’s GP surgeries.
Recent figures from the Department of Health show that just 2,700 GPs were recruited in 2016, far below their target of 3,250.