Exodus of experience: Senior doctors leaving NHS for pastures new
Such a growing exodus of skilled doctors and surgeons is exacerbating the workforce crisis within the NHS.
Experienced senior doctors in the NHS are leaving the UK for countries like Ireland, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates due to the allure of higher salaries and better working conditions. This growing exodus of skilled doctors and surgeons is exacerbating the workforce crisis within the NHS.
Global medical recruiters have been successful in attracting younger doctors away from the NHS in the past, but medical leaders are now increasingly concerned about the trend of more seasoned consultants choosing to leave the UK altogether. Some of these doctors have several decades of experience and are tempted by lucrative job offers abroad.
The salary difference is a major factor motivating these doctors to make the move. Many are receiving weekly emails inviting them to apply for well-paid positions in West Asia and other regions. Salaries abroad can be double, and in some cases, even three to four times higher than what they would earn in the UK.
The current situation has been compounded by the NHS consultant strike over pay issues, as they feel their pay increase has been inadequate. The average pay for consultants is expected to reach about £134,000, but they argue that their real-term take-home pay has fallen significantly over the last 14 years.
Recruitment agencies are directly targeting striking consultants at picket lines, offering them roles in Ireland with salaries up to £233,000. This further entices experienced doctors to consider leaving the UK.
The departure of senior doctors is concerning because they play a crucial role in training the next generation of medical professionals. If the exodus from NHS continues, there may be a shortage of experienced mentors for junior doctors.
The allure of better opportunities and working conditions in other countries, particularly in terms of compensation and benefits, is drawing doctors away from the UK. The trend highlights the need for the NHS to address the issues causing dissatisfaction among its medical staff in order to retain experienced professionals and tackle the workforce crisis.