NHS hired 3,000 foreign doctors last year

1st February 2015: The NHS hired up to 3,000 doctors last year to tackle staff shortages, a Guardian investigation has revealed.

doctorThe foreign doctors were recruited in at least 27 countries, including India, Poland, Australia and Greece. Some also came from Sudan, Iraq and Syria.

Dr David Rosser, medical director of University hospitals Birmingham, one of England’s biggest trusts, said: “The NHS doesn’t have the number of doctors it needs. The shortage is real. We aren’t training enough doctors in this country, and so we are dependent on foreign-trained doctors. Doctors in more and more branches of medicine report shortages, especially in specialities such as A&E, where it’s tough work.”

Apart from having a serious shortage of doctors, the NHS is also increasingly short of nurses. “Here we are wholly reliant on our overseas staff. About a third of our nurses are from overseas. This situation isn’t ideal,” Keith McNeil, chief executive of Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge told the Guardian. “There’s a fairly major shortage of homegrown nurses. Every week we are right down to the wire in terms of finding nurses to fill the rotas effectively. It really is a challenge.”

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