Eastern Europe, haven for British medical students

“Britain short of carers but stubbornly not training anymore.” The observation made by The Economist largely explains the emigration of aspiring doctors and dentists to Eastern Europe in recent years. In 2021, London magazine reports, around 16,000 candidates were rejected on entry to medical courses. “Among them, around 2,000 students have decided to emigrate.” Mainly in Bulgaria and Georgia. A logical choice: the course is taught there “Well” English, costs less, “even though there are no comparable student loans”, and the degree allows young doctors to return to practice in the UK.

Illustration of the scope of the phenomenon in the columns of The Economist : in 2014, no doctor trained in Bulgaria and practicing in the United Kingdom was of British nationality. “Today is two thirds.” Another example given by the financial magazine: “By 2022, more UK medical students accepted at University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, than at Plymouth,” in south-west England.

“It can seem tempting to enroll cohorts of young doctors without having to support their studies”, finishes The Economist. But some are unable to find jobs when they return to British soil because of poor workforce management – amid a shortage of 47,000 carers in a dying public health service. “Better to train [au Royaume-Uni] the doctors, the NHS just have to cross their fingers to hope that some of them will come back from Eastern Europe.”

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