European doctor exodus looms as Brexit sparks medical exit strategy

Almost a third of European doctors working in Scotland are considering moving to another country because of Brexit, a survey has suggested.''Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
Almost a third of European doctors working in Scotland are considering moving to another country because of Brexit, a survey has suggested.''Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
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Almost a third of European doctors working in Scotland are considering moving to another country because of Brexit, a survey has suggested.

Doctors’ leaders at the British Medical Association (BMA) warned such an exodus “would be a disaster” for the health service.

The BMA survey also found 81 per cent of European doctors working in Scotland were “unconvinced” promises made about their rights would be protected if the UK quits the European Union without a deal. That proportion was higher than the 78 per cent who were not convinced by this across the UK as a whole. BMA Scotland chair Dr Lewis Morrison said: “As Brexit creeps ever closer, it is appalling that so many of our colleagues are living with such uncertainty over what their future will be.

“The results of this survey clearly show a deep distrust in the promises that have been made to date.”

More than 1,500 doctors working in the UK who had been trained in Europe completed the survey, including 144 working in Scotland.

But more than a third (34 per cent) of these doctors north of the Border said they were not aware of the UK’s settled status scheme for European citizens living and working in the UK.