Hundreds of doctors working in the NHS are seeking permission from GMC to work abroad….reports Asian Lite News
The staff shortage is affecting several NHS Trusts across the country as doctors leaving NHS to work abroad. Doctors seeking to work abroad must apply for Certificates of Current Professional Status (CCPS) from their regulator, the General Medical Council (GMC). In just three days last week, the GMC received 1,644 requests for CCPS documents. Typically, it receives around 20 to 25 a day, the Independent reported.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest NHS trusts in England has been placed in special measures after inspectors found it was “inadequate”. NHS regulator Monitor is taking action to improve Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, which runs the city’s Addenbrooke’s and Rosie Birth Centre. Inspectors found concerns about staffing levels, delays in outpatient treatment and governance failings.
The extraordinary spike in doctors demand to work abroad began on 16 September, the day after the Government confirmed it would seek to impose a new contract on junior doctors, after their union, the British Medical Association (BMA), refused to return to negotiations. Proposed reforms under the new contract would see juniors lose out on pay premiums for working weekday evenings and on Saturdays.
Last week, the BMA said doctors may take industrial action to resist an imposed contract. A petition supporting strike calls has attracted 52,000 signatures.
The Government and NHS Employers, an arms-length body, say the new contract will reward doctors who take on more responsibility and work the most unsocial hours, but have not ruled out cuts to some doctors’ take-home pay.
Thousands of doctors are thought to have left the UK to work overseas in recent years, with the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and Canada among the most popular destinations. There are no official figures showing how many leave each year and though not all doctors who request a CCPS eventually leave the country, application rates for the certificates are considered the best indicator of interest in working abroad.
Numbers have remained steady since peaking at 5,163 in 2012. Last year, 4,925 applied. Last week’s surge in interest has taken this year’s figure so far to 4,500 – meaning 2015 will almost certainly break the previous record.
The figures refer to all doctors, not just juniors, and the GMC does not break down the figures by experience level. However, the timing appears to indicate the surge is being driven by junior doctors demoralised by the Government’s contract plans.