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Oral evidence to Health Committee Brexit inquiry

Charlie Massey gave oral evidence to the Health Select Committee today as part of the Committee’s ongoing inquiry on the implications of Brexit for health and social care.

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Medical Council, said:

‘EEA doctors make a huge and vital contribution to health services across the UK. We want to continue attracting overseas doctors in future, and ensure we do not create any unnecessary barriers that would stop them coming here.

‘We are clear that the registration of EEA doctors currently on our register will be unaffected by the UK’s departure from the EU. However we recently surveyed over 2,000 EEA doctors practising in the UK and they have told us that their future status here is a real concern. It’s deeply worrying that some are considering leaving the UK in the next few years. If they leave this would have a serious impact on patient care and would place the rest of the UK medical profession under even greater pressure.

‘Brexit strengthens the case for reforming professional regulation, as it provides an opportunity to make progress in two distinct areas: improving the checks we can put in place to ensure all doctors practising in the UK meet the same standards – whether they qualified in the UK, Europe or elsewhere – and improving training for doctors by creating greater flexibility in postgraduate training.

‘More widely, we need fundamental reform to our legislation to allow much more flexibility than our outdated legislation provides if we are going to be able to respond to the changing environment and workforce pressures in the most effective way.’