BRITAIN trains so few doctors that in parts of the country almost half of those working in the NHS are from overseas, the General Medical Council found.
Faced with an ageing population and demand for A&E services up by more than a quarter in five years, it said the profession was at ‘crunch point’.
The dependence on overseas-trained doctors is revealed in the GMC’s state of medical education and practice report.
While in the south-west just 18 per cent of doctors trained abroad, this jumps to 43 per cent in the east of England.
The GMC warned that the NHS faces crisis if the UK becomes a less attractive place for foreign doctors.
The report said reducing pressure on doctors, improving workplace culture and making employment and training more flexible would be vital to recruit and retain the medics of the future.
Charlie Massey, chief executive of the GMC, said: ‘We have reached a crucial moment — a crunch point — in the development of the UK’s medical workforce. The decisions that we make over the next five years will determine whether it can meet these extra demands.’
Health Education England has said the NHS will have to fill 190,000 job vacancies by 2027. Separate Labour party figures estimate there are already 100,000 vacant posts, including 42,000 nursing jobs and 11,000 for doctors.