Increase in GPs choosing to move abroad
The General Medical Council has released new figures indicating a sharp rise in the number of UK GPs planning to move abroad. Popular destinations include New Zealand, Australia and Canada. The data shows that 529 GPs have applied for the Certificate of Good Standing required for practicing in another country.
This figure is up from the 266 applications received in 2009. There have been repeated warnings that an increasing number of GPs are training in the UK and then choosing to move abroad where they can often work shorter hours and receive higher wages. Since 2006 around 5,500 doctors from the UK have been awarded the Advanced Standing certificate by the Australian Medical Council.
New Zealand is also a popular choice. In 2013 some 469 doctors were added to the countries medical register. In 2012 the Medical Council of New Zealand added 511 GPs.
Andy Burnham, shadow health secretary, said pressure was being put on services because of GP budget cuts forcing many doctors to either retire early or consider moving abroad for work. He added that people are finding it increasingly difficult to get an appointment with a GP.
Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP chair, said plummeting resources and soaring demand was behind the mass exodus of UK doctors.
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