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EU survey 2017

EU doctor survey 2017 infographic 16x9

The background

A BMA survey of EU doctors working in the UK has found that nearly half are considering leaving following the EU referendum result, with almost one in five already having solid plans to relocate elsewhere.

Around 12,000 doctors who work in the NHS in England – 7.7% of the UK medical workforce - qualified in the EU, with many more working in public health and academic medicine. Recruiting from Europe has been vital in dealing with staff shortages in UK health services, ensuring the NHS can provide high-quality, reliable and safe patient care.


Key findings

  • Almost half (45%) are considering leaving the UK following the referendum vote, with another 29% saying they are unsure.
  • Of those considering leaving, more than a third (39%) have made plans to leave, meaning almost one in five EU doctors (18%) have made plans to leave the UK.
  • The top three reasons cited for considering leaving were the UK’s decision to leave the EU, a current negative attitude toward EU workers in the UK and continuing uncertainty over future immigration rules.
  • Germany, Spain and Australia are the top three countries that doctors are considering moving to.


Intention to leave?

While 57% of EU doctors said they are committed to working in the UK, when we asked, ‘Are you considering leaving the UK and moving to another country?’ 44.71% of respondents stated they are currently considering leaving the UK and moving to another country.

EU survey pie charts Nov 2017

EU survey pie charts Nov 2017

EU survey pie charts Nov 2017

Expectations of Brexit negotiations

The survey found only 9.52% of EU doctors are confident of a positive outcome in the current negotiations taking place on EU and UK citizens’ rights, whilst 31.14% responded ‘not sure’ and 59.34% were not confident with the outcome. In addition, 76.89% respondents stated a negative outcome to the current EU and UK citizens' rights Brexit negotiations would make them more likely to consider leaving the UK.

EU survey pie charts Nov 2017

EU survey pie charts Nov 2017

Further information

EEA doctor exodus threat grows (BMA News)

Read more about the BMA's Brexit work



Have you been affected?

Find out how Brexit will affect EU nationals in our immigration section

If you have been personally affected by events relating to Brexit you can get emotional support from our BMA Counselling and Doctor Advisor service. Call 0330 123 1245.

Find out more