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UK has fewest doctors per 1,000 patients in EU, finds think tank

The UK has nearly 30% fewer doctors for its population size than the European average, according a new report.

The report from the Health Foundation found that the UK has just 2.8 doctors for 1,000 patients – 28% lower than the EU average of 3.9 doctors.

Furthermore, of the EU15 countries where data was available, the UK was found to have the lowest number of doctors per 1,000 patients.

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said on Twitter that it is ‘pretty obvious why the medical profession in UK is under such pressure’.

Greece topped the table offering more than six doctors per 1,000 patients. 

The report said: ‘The UK has fewer doctors for its population size than other European countries, at 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people.

‘This is 28% lower than the EU15 average of 3.9, despite the UK spending an average share of national income on health.’ 

However, the report added: ‘Overall, it appears that there is no relationship between total spending and the number of practising doctors.

‘France spends a relatively high amount (11.0%) and has relatively few doctors (3.3) per 1,000 people, whilst Germany spends 11.3% of national income and has an above-average number of doctors (4.1) per 1,000 people.’

This comes after the latest official workforce data revealed that 1,000 GPs have left the profession since the health secretary made a pledge to recruit 5,000 more by 2020.