Posted by: Witch Doctor | March 31, 2007

Is the UK producing too many doctors? (1)

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MEDICAL WORKFORCE PLANNING – The CMO’s Opinion (1)

Q107 Chairman:In 1999 this Committee was advised that an oversupply of doctors was highly unlikely before the year 2020. We have received evidence from the NHS employers that there is currently a 7% oversupply of doctors and that this willrise to 12% by 2009. How did this occur and is this a desirable scenario?

Sir Liam Donaldson: My own view is that I do not really accept the assessment that there is an oversupply of doctors. Even if you look forward to those distant time spans that you have mentioned, we shall still be lower than the OECD average. When I came into post in 1998, we were above Turkey, but otherwise we were the lowest OECD country for doctors per head of population. We are still behind and I do not see ourselves as producing an excess of doctors at all, Indeed with demographic trends, with the fact that we shall have a 70% female medical workforce in the next few years, with changes in technology, with greater specialisation, we are still going to need a lot of doctors.

The Witch Doctor:The Chief Medical Officer is stating categorically that in his opinion we need and will continue to need more doctors. You would think he should know. Why are the employers reporting otherwise?

Q115 Dr Stoate: Do you see a contradiction though between that and the answer you last gave. You could not see any realistic chance of unemployment in medical graduates and now you are saying that as we cannot possibly predict what we are going to need, then we may not need these graduates which we are currently training.

Sir Liam Donaldson: No, I am talking about the balance between specialties. There are 59 specialties. If we have 59 rigid boxes all with a number in them for 10 years’ time and then we sit back and do something else until the clock ticks round, then we shall have problems. We have to evaluate the need specialty by specialty, but on the whole, given the position internationally, the trends in the burden of disease, the growth of technology, the feminisation of the workforce, I think we shall need more doctors.

The Witch Doctor: He’s saying it again! The Chief Medical Officer does not think we are overproducing doctors or are in equilibrium. He thinks we need more doctors. Surely things have not profoundly changed in less that a year!


Responses

  1. […] MEDICAL WORKFORCE PLANNING – THE CMO’S OPINION 1 […]

  2. […] IS THE UK PRODUCING TOO MANY DOCTORS? PART 1 […]


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