The UK has the second lowest number of doctors in leading European nations relative to its population, according to research for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
With 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people, compared with an average of 3.5 doctors across Western Europe, the UK shortage is second only to Poland.
This shortfall of doctors persists despite the OECD research showing that British general practitioners and specialists in the UK earn more than three times the average national salary.
The OECD report, which examined data between 2000 and 2017, also highlighted the UK’s reliance on foreign-trained medics, with 28.7 percent of British doctors qualifying abroad, the fifth highest figure in Europe. At 15 percent, the UK had the second highest proportion of nurses trained abroad, after Switzerland.
However, over the past decade, the UK’s share of foreign-trained doctors has decreased slightly as the number of domestically trained doctors increased more quickly. This contrasts with Germany and France, where the number and share of foreign-trained doctors grew steadily between 2007 and 2017.