I have recently found out the UK has one of the lowest number of doctors per 1000 inhabitants in Europe:

The UK has 2.8 doctors per 1,000 population, which puts it well below the European Union (EU) average (3.4/1,000) with only 4 countries in Europe having lower numbers per capita (Ireland, Slovenia, Romania and Poland)

The same article provides more insight into the causes that lead to this: not enough people being trained to become doctors, personnel retention, early retiring, the Brexit, burnout, inflexible work rotas, chronic understaffing.

Besides the issues, some solutions are proposed, but it is not clear if the government has done any concrete steps towards increasing the number of doctors in the short-medium term:

In the longer term, steps have been taken to increase medical school numbers. This will take a number of years to translate into clinical staff, but clearly 1,500 new doctors per annum on top of the current numbers would be most welcome. However, without a clear retention strategy, the NHS risks continuing to lose vast numbers of doctors to other countries and other professions (..)

It is essential that the government tries to understand this and address these issues. A government review into retention of doctors would be a good first step.

  • 5
    What makes you think they are addressing it, as opposed to making public statements promising that they are going to fix the problem?
    – Simon B
    Commented Nov 27, 2021 at 16:45
  • 2
    @simonb That’s the question. Nothing is a valid answer
    – divibisan
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


According to the UK goverment1 There is funding that is

a ring-fenced grant of £162.5 million that will be paid in 2 instalments to local authorities

(Under the header “About this funding”)

Which will be used for a myriad of purposes, one of which is

support and boost retention of staff within social care

(Under the header “Specific restrictions on the use of the funding”)

Which means that less people in the medical field will quit, which means that overall the amount of people in the medical field will be higher than it would otherwise have been.

1: based off of Wikipedia, I am fairly certain that this is the official site.

  • 1
    How does this change the number of doctors? Most of them don't work for local authorities.
    – Simon B
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 22:20

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