Britain’s exit from the European Union has reduced the number of European doctors working in the National Health Service by more than 4,000, a study found on Monday.
However, research by the Nuffield Trust think-tank particularly points to shortages of anaesthetists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, heart and lung specialists.
According to the study, around 37,000 doctors from European countries were working in Britain in 2021.
Brexit had led to slower recruitment of medical staff. Without it, Britain would currently have around 41,300 European doctors, almost 4,300 more than now.
Since Britain left the European Union, specialists need work visas, which are associated with high costs and cumbersome bureaucracy.
Even if more Britons were trained doctors, the current shortage would not be solved quickly because of the length of time it takes to qualify in the medical profession, Kitty Mohan of the British Medical Association said.
Meanwhile, Britain’s NHS is chronically underfunded and understaffed.
In England alone, there is an overall shortage of more than 10,500 doctors.