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Too few jobs for junior doctors

24th April 2007

A British Medical Association (BMA) survey has revealed that half of the UK’s trainee doctors would leave the country if they fail to get an NHS training position.

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The BMA is so worried about a mass exodus of trainee medics that it has asked to meet with the government to discuss the results of the poll.  It is estimated that there are 10,000 more applicants than there are positions available meaning the UK is paying to train doctors it may never employ as they leave for positions abroad rather than settle for a service grade NHS job which does not include any training. Dr Jo Hilborne from the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee said, "The NHS could lose thousands of its best young doctors simply because of poor planning.  It's unfair on them, it's unfair on their patients, and it's unfair on the taxpayers who've funded their training."

The BMA survey of 650 junior doctors found that of the two thirds who would not consider a service grade NHS job, 39% would seek work as a doctor outside of the health service whereas 44% would consider leaving medicine altogether.  A small percentage said they had already secured work overseas.

The Department of Health said it accepted that some trainee doctors do choose to work abroad but that many returned to the NHS.  Tony Blair said the health service finally had enough trained nurses and doctors to be in a position of growth.

 

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