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UK medical council reveals 1,616 Nigerian doctors migrated in the past year

Recent statistics from the General Medical Council (GMC), the official record of UK medical practitioners, have unveiled a significant influx of Nigerian-trained medical doctors to the United Kingdom, with no fewer than 1,616 doctors making the move in the past year.

The information is part of the GMC’s “The State of Medical Education and Practice in the UK Workforce Report 2023,” published on its website in November 2023.

The report positions Nigeria as the third-largest non-UK graduate contributor of doctors to the UK workforce, trailing behind India and Pakistan, with 2,402 and 2,372 doctors, respectively.

The Report

In 2022, doctors who qualified outside the UK constituted 63% of the 23,838 new additions to the register, and International Medical Graduates (IMGs) comprised 52% of the new joiners, while doctors from the European Economic Area (EEA) constituted 10%.

The report highlighted India and Pakistan as the leading contributors, each accounting for 16% of non-UK graduate joiners in 2022.

Notably, the number of doctors with a Nigerian Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ) joining the UK workforce has experienced substantial growth.

In 2014, only 181 Nigerian-trained doctors joined, ranking as the 11th largest group of non-UK PMQ joiners. By 2022, this figure surged to 1,616 doctors, making them the third-largest non-UK graduate contributor to the UK workforce.

By 2022, the group was almost nine times the size and had become the third largest non-UK graduate contributor of doctors to the UK workforce.

Moreover, the report sheds light on the changing dynamics within the UK medical workforce. Doctors who gained their PMQ in their country of nationality have been the predominant contributors since 2012.

Non-British nationality doctors with the same nationality as their primary medical qualification country, such as Nigerian doctors who studied medicine in Nigeria, have seen rapid growth, comprising 48% of doctors joining the UK workforce in 2022.

The report also noted a gradual increase in the number of doctors joining the UK workforce with a different nationality than the country they gained their PMQ.

Additionally, UK PMQ non-British joiners, who studied medicine in the UK but have a different nationality, increased from 18% of joiners in 2015 to 21% in 2022.

Meanwhile, UK PMQ British nationals’ contribution has seen a decline, from 53% of doctors joining the workforce in 2015 to 30% in 2022.


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