April 07, 2023
46 per cent of doctors joining the NHS in England in 2022 came from abroad, outnumbering the number of students who enrolled in medicine courses in England in the 2022-23 academic year. This means that within the next few years, the majority of new doctors joining the NHS in England will be foreign nationals.
In 2022, 12,148 doctors with a foreign nationality joined the NHS in England compared with 13,516 British doctors. This is 73 per cent more than the number of British students who enrolled to train as doctors in English medical schools in the 2022-23 academic year.
In the same year, over 10,000 applicants were turned away from studying medicine at university, often irrespective of their grades, due to a stringent funding cap. This despite a need for between 5,000 and 11,000 more trainees to be taken on per year.
At a cost of about £427 million, the government could increase medical training places available to British students in the next academic year by 1,500 places by returning funding to 2021-22 levels and ensuring all available places are filled by British rather than overseas students.
Commenting, Jeremy Hutton, Researcher at Migration Watch UK said:
That the government have failed to increase the number of funded training places while demand has grown is nothing short of a dereliction of duty.
It is one thing to recruit foreign doctors to fill short-term needs, it is another to rely on them long-term instead of training up future doctors here in Britain, and now we’re hiring more doctors from overseas than we’re even bothering to train.