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GPs go forth

Are more UK-trained doctors moving abroad?

Figures suggest 5,000 doctors a year are considering leaving the UK to work abroad. Joe Davis takes a closer look at where they are going

The number of doctors issued...

The flight of UK doctors abroad shows no sign of stopping.

More doctors than ever are applying to the GMC for a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) – the document that allows them to register with an overseas regulatory body or employer. In the past two years, the number of CGS applications has reached more than 4,700 per year, with many doctors heading to Australia and New Zealand for the shorter working hours and higher wages.

In the absence of any official data, the number of CGSs issued each year is the most reliable indicator of how many doctors are considering moving abroad.

However, not all doctors who hold a CGS leave the country, and many of those who do remain on, or return to, the medical register.

Nevertheless, Pulse last year revealed that the number of CGS applications had risen by more than 12% since 2008 and the latest figures from the GMC show the number is still rising – a further 2,485 doctors have received certificates in the first six months of 2014 alone, compared with 2,479 for the same period in 2013.

New Zealand and Australia are currently....

Steady stream

And according to figures from overseas medical regulators, there has been a steady stream of UK medical migrants to other countries, with Australia being one of the most popular destinations although applications have slowed in favour of other destinations in recent years. 

Guy Hazel, managing director of the Austmedic recruitment agency, says there are fewer GP vacancies available in Australia than three years ago.

He sees a spike in serious enquiries every year in August as MRCGP trainees receive their Certificate of Completion of Training.

He says: ‘Most GP trainees who apply this August will be practising in Australia by February next year. Most of them graduate and then spend three or four months locuming before moving over.

‘But it’s not just newly qualified GPs – I’m helping a 40-year-old GP partner from Northern Ireland to move over this week. I see a lot of partners looking to move because they’re attracted to the lifestyle.’

GPs pottential take home pay may...


Readers' comments (13)

  • Note This DOH/HMG market forces are acting and there is nothing you can do with your current approach to stop them!

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  • The quicker we all move the better.

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  • Still GP jobs available outside the big cities in Australia. A+E and skin lesion experience essential; anaesthetic and obstetric experience highly sought-after. Can confirm full-time GP in rural/regional areas will make $300,000 or 180,000 GBP.

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  • You can't buck the market.

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  • I think Canada and aus if I was young a pal has 250k and 2 Months holiday but rings surgery and patients from golf practice ..great respect from patients

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  • From our local training scheme, 4 excellent newly qualified GPs moved to Australia. They love it there. Sad loss to the NHS and the patients who would have benefited from their services but good luck to them. Even more sad is the fact that the government don't seem to mind at all and continue on their agenda to denigrate the profession. No one benefits from this. The loss of General Practice is certainly not in the best interest of the UK.

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  • Working in the nhs today reflects the same state of affairs back in the early eighties. It's the same for specialist nurses running our own clinics and case loads. It's tough. But not only dies this government not care neither do any of the parties. They freeze our wages and they get ten per cent rise.

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  • ABSOLUTELY. so many spot on comments. we need to spread the word so that future generations of young people are told the truth about the profession

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  • try getting this article posted in mainstream press.

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  • Done.

  • A recent CPD training event in Queensland Australia was attended by my friend who told me this. There were about 50 attendees and 90% were UK gps who range from 30-50yrs of age, ex partners and salaried. So sad for NHS. I am also informed very few GP jobs in Australia now. DWS maps are shrinking and the visas getting difficult. Signs of times.

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