Crisis looms as out-of-contract doctors threaten to leave NHS

Thousands of junior doctors could leave the NHS because of an emerging workforce planning disaster, the British Medical Association (BMA) has claimed.

The BMA claims a dearth of training posts means many young doctors will either move abroad to practise or will leave medicine altogether.

More than a third of the 235 junior hospital doctors who responded to a BMA survey said they had not been offered jobs when their current contracts end in August.

Six in 10 said they would leave the NHS to work overseas if, in future, they were unable to get an appropriate training post. A third said they would consider leaving medicine altogether.

Simon Eccles, chairman of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said it was a huge irony that the UK is short of doctors and hospitals are overstretched but still there aren’t enough training posts to go around.

“People are queuing up to study medicine, and thousands of doctors from overseas want to work in the NHS,” he said. “It’s absurd that such a huge amount of talent – which has cost millions of taxpayers’ pounds to nurture – could go to waste.

“The government seems to think that doctors will be content with jobs that provide no training, but our research shows many will leave the NHS instead,” he added.

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