• STV
  • MySTV

New drive to boost doctor numbers and stop 'brain drain'

The Scottish Conservatives says 3000 medics have left Scotland to work abroad.

Health: More than 5,000 GPs have requested a certificate of professional status since 2008.
Health: More than 5,000 GPs have requested a certificate of professional status since 2008. Hugh Macknight / PA Wire/PA Images

The Conservatives have launched a national campaign to boost the numbers of doctors amid evidence around 3000 may have left Scotland to work abroad in recent years.

The party published estimates of the "brain drain" from Scotland's NHS as it called on the SNP to step up efforts to tackle recruitment and retention problems.

Figures obtained by the Conservatives from the General Medical Council show the number of doctors who have requested a certificate of current professional status, a document required by doctors who want to work abroad.

A total of 5044 Scottish medics have done so since 2008.

The highest number of requests were recorded in 2015 (663) and last year (612).

While 2149 remain connected to a "designated body", suggesting they did not ultimately leave, the remaining 2895 are not.

According to the Tories, they are "almost certain" to be working abroad.

The party is launching a Save Our Surgeries campaign, highlighting a warning from the Royal College of General Practitioners that Scotland needs to recruit 850 more GPs by 2021.

The campaign will be writing to every GP clinic in Scotland as well as urging an increase in the share of NHS funding for primary care.

Health spokesman Miles Briggs MSP said: "These figures show that as many as 3000 Scottish trained doctors are currently working abroad - setting out starkly the brain drain we have seen in Scotland over the last decade.

"Of course every part of the UK has lost doctors to countries like Australia and New Zealand in recent years.

"But rather than point the finger elsewhere, the SNP must act on these figures and do more encourage doctors to come back - or not leave in the first place."

'These figures show that as many as 3,000 Scottish trained doctors are currently working abroad - setting out starkly the brain drain we have seen in Scotland over the last decade.'
Miles Briggs MSP

Briggs claimed a Scottish Conservative government would prioritise GP spending so 11% of all NHS spending went direct to the local practice.

This would, he said, help boost working conditions, recruitment and retention.

He added: "Scotland's GP's are at the forefront of our NHS - if we as a country can't get general practice right and working to deliver health services across Scotland then the rest of our NHS will continue to be destabilised."

Health secretary Shona Robison said the Scottish Government has increased investment in GP services every year since 2007.

She added: "We are committed to increasing the share of the NHS budget going to primary care in each year of this parliament.

"Funding in direct support of general practice will increase by £250m by the end of this parliament - as part of our overall commitment to increase primary care funding by £500m."

The minister said £71.6m is being invested in direct support of general practice this year which includes a "five fold" increase in funding for GP recruitment and retention.

Robison said: "We are also working with the British Medical Association to deliver a new GP contract which will provide a strengthened and clarified role for Scotland's GPs."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.