The UK Government is “running out of time” to secure the future of European doctors after Brexit, the General Medical Council have warned. Paul Buckley, Director of Strategy & Policy at the General Medical Council, has said that Scotland faces “particular challenges” attracting EEA doctors post-Brexit and is calling on the UK Government to provide urgent confirmation on the future medical registration process for European nationals.
Mr Buckley stated “We are concerned that with less than six months to go before EU exit and increasing talk of the possibility of a ‘no deal’ we still do not know how, and how quickly, EEA qualified doctors will be able to join the UK medical register. There is a risk that the continuing uncertainty will deter EEA doctors from coming to the UK & contributing to our NHS.”
Argyll and Bute MP, Brendan O’Hara said:
“This is damning evidence from the GMC and confirms that Brexit is the number one challenge to our health service particularly in rural Scotland such as here in Argyll and Bute where there are already issues in recruiting doctors. We are facing a double whammy here with Theresa May’s Brexit plans to cut off Scotland’s supply of highly skilled doctors and ignoring my plea to devolve immigration so that Scotland can recruit the highly skilled workers that are needed to keep our NHS going. This ‘one-size fits all’ immigration policy does not work for Scotland; doctors, nurses and health care staff from the EEA bring a wealth of valuable experience and skills to our NHS. We need and want them to come and live here.”
“It is also why my Private Members Bill is so important right now. The Bill, which has cross-party support and the backing of 72 charities, will compel the UK government to consider the impact of any decisions they take as a result of Brexit, on our health and social sectors. “
He ended by saying,
“It is why, I will along with the SNP colleagues will make sure our NHS does not become a casualty of this Tory government’s ideologically driven pursuit of leaving the EU.”