There is an interesting piece today in the Daily Mail about young NHS GPs quitting and going to Australia.
In the past five years, the number of GP appointments made by Britons has risen from 300 million to 370 million a year, an increase of more than 20 per cent.
The number of GPs employed to meet that demand has risen by around 1,600, or just over five per cent.
All of which has led to the second major factor behind their exodus — in the UK, they often feel terribly overworked; after moving they find themselves having to spend far less time at the coalface.
‘More and more British GPs talk about the pressure they’re under,’ says Guy Hazel. ‘I’m not sure the general public understand how mentally draining it is to see 35 to 40 patients a day. All the British GPs I know are exhausted.’
An Australian GP, by contrast, will see 20-25 patients per day.
This concerns the young, newly trained doctors. I posted some concerns about the issue of primary care in the US.
Primary care here is referred to as “General Practice” in Britain and they seem to be having a loss at both ends of the doctor career.
Britain is already suffering from a serious, and unprecedented, shortage of GPs, on a scale that doctors’ leaders say is fast becoming a crisis.
According to figures released last week, a staggering 10.2 per cent of full-time GP positions across the UK are currently vacant, a figure that has quadrupled in the past three years.
Two-thirds of practices are now finding it ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to find locums — freelance medics — to cover the shortfall.
As our population gets steadily older, and sicker, frontline surgeries are becoming increasingly swamped.
‘We are in dire straits if we do not act to address the GP recruitment crisis immediately,’ the Royal College of GPs warned last week.
British doctors are retiring at the age of 59. In America, the biggest shortage looming is in surgical specialties.
Hieb referenced work in an Arizona area where 85% of payers were government-paid through Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. Four orthopedic surgeons would do the work that 10, 11 or 12 in more affluent Flagstaff would take on. She said the average orthopedic surgeon in America takes care of 12,000 people. Conversely, the region where Hieb worked was serving approximately 90,000, which later ballooned to 120,000 as Hieb left and only three surgeons remained. She said her 53-year-old former colleague from the region died thereafter under the long and strenuous work.
Well at least we seem to share a trend with our “cousins” in Britain. Part of the probable in Britain is the astronomical price of housing.
To help sway the GPs’ choice, the email then contained a brace of estate agents’ photographs featuring homes that had just come on the market, in each location, at around the £600,000 mark.
In Gold Coast, that money would get you a stunning five-bedroom, four-bathroom, concrete-and-glass riverside mansion, complete with ‘pool, spa, pontoon dock for your boat (boat not included, you would have to buy your own)’ and a BBQ-friendly outside terrace.
In rain-lashed North London, meanwhile, your £600,000 will stretch to something altogether more grimy: a former council flat, with three bedrooms, a single bathroom, and a pokey, linoleum-floored kitchen with bars on its windows to deter local burglars.
For good measure, the message added that in Gold Coast, you can ‘enjoy swimming after work on the golden sands where the water is a warm average 24c’.
Residents of Abbey Road, meanwhile, must content themselves with the pool at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre.
The email was, as you may have guessed, a kind of job advert.
600,000 pounds is about $900,000 and houses in the south of England are in that range and much higher. So is southern California.