Increase in UK doctors looking to work overseas...

Increase in UK doctors looking to work overseas...

We've recently been featured in a national news story regarding the recent increase in interest from doctors considering living and working overseas...

Head Medical, the UK’s leading medical recruitment specialist, has reported a 28 per cent rise in the number of British-trained medics accepting jobs in Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East over the last three months.

The increase in enquiries for overseas posts coincides with a surge in the number of doctors applying to the General Medical Council for Certificates of Good Standing. The documentation is needed to prove there are no professional reasons which could impact on a doctor’s fitness to practise, and they are usually issued after contact has been made with a potential overseas employer.

According to the GMC some 264 were applied for in the first two weeks of 2017 alone.

“Most winters we see an increase in enquiries as doctors make New Year resolutions, consider career options or have just had enough of the cold weather. November, December and January are usually very busy for us but this year has been more hectic than usual,” said Nicky Gregory, Head of GP Recruitment.

“If we compare the number of people who have accepted contracts abroad in the last three months compared to the same time last year there has been a 28 per cent increase.”

“Some doctors are looking to experience another healthcare system, some are looking for more money, better work-life balance or a combination of reasons."

A salaried GP can earn on average between £60,000 and £100,000 a year in the UK, more for a GP partner. But, in Australia they could earn about $300,000 Australian dollars, increasing to about $500,000 – that's around £180,000 to £300,000.

It’s a similar story in New Zealand, where they have lower tax rates and a reduced work load alongside an improved work / life balance. There a GP can earn in the region of £90,000 to £125,000.

In the Middle East a GP can earn fantastic packages including a tax free salary in excess of £130,000 p.a., accommodation, school fees and other perks.

“We’re seeing a whole range of doctors looking to move abroad, from newly-qualified to highly experienced who are looking to spend the last few years of their career in a different country,” said Ms Gregory.

“Some UK doctors we speak with say they are being forced to consider alternatives because of increasing workloads, added stress and worsening working conditions. Many GPs are now working 14-hour days every day and are having to deal with mounting bureaucracy and paperwork."

“Most doctors working abroad tend to work fewer hours, have more time to spend with patients, enjoy a better work-life balance and get paid more.”

“The UK government needs to review GP contracts and make it a more attractive proposition for doctors to stay. Many feel they would rather remain loyal to the NHS but changes to working conditions are making alternative options increasingly attractive,” said Ms Gregory.

To find out more about Consultant / GP roles overseas, contact us on +44 (0)131 226 2200, or email

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