According to recent data released by ‘Health Poverty Action’ (HPA), there are now 25,295 doctors who have trained and qualified in India who are treating patients in the United Kingdom. This essentially means that one in every ten doctors practicing in the UK practising at present is from India. Indians thus are today making up the highest number of foreign healthcare staff in the UK. About one third of all doctors registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) have been trained abroad, and more than a quarter were trained outside Europe. HPA says that by 2020, the European Union will face a shortage of around 970,000 health-care workers. This would include a shortage of 230,000 doctors, 150,000 dentists, pharmacists and physiotherapists, and 590,000 nurses.
India has only one doctor for every 1,700 people, according to the country’s Planning Commission. A recent Planning Commission report had said that India is short of 600,000 doctors, 1,000,000 nurses and 2,000,000 dental surgeons. Indian doctors, however, form 5% of the medical workforce in developed countries. Almost 60,000 Indian physicians are working in countries like the US, the UK, Canada and Australia alone.