There are growing concerns both over the quality of training offered to junior doctors in the UK, and the loss of the UK’s talented young doctors to hospitals overseas. The Chairman of the Junior Doctors Committee of the British Medical Association has claimed that the NHS’s desperate financial position has rendered it unable to provide adequate training to junior doctors, leading talented young medical professionals to look for work and training overseas.
As it stands, the NHS often cannot afford to provide a full training programme covering a range of specialties to young doctors leading to a lopsided medical knowledge. Due to staffing shortfalls, junior doctors will be asked to fill in vacant positions which often put their training programmes on hold.
Many junior doctors are growing frustrated with the lack of structure and as a result have decided to pursue their careers in medicine abroad. Countries such as Australia, the US and New Zealand can offer greater opportunities to young doctors leading many British doctors who have recently completed their foundation training to leave the NHS behind.
Investing in training young doctors is costly – approximately a quarter of a million pounds for every medical student over their 5-6 years of study. However, this reflects the level of expertise that they need to work in the nation’s hospitals, and it is feared that losing these talents to hospitals abroad will starve the NHS of the talented doctors it always requires. Furthermore, those doctors who are left receiving inadequate training could be more likely to make mistakes, which could endanger lives and cut cost the NHS considerable sums in unnecessary medical negligence compensation claims.
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