Turning every unemployed person into a doctor is neither possible nor desirable. But if you do the math, that seems to be where England is heading.It’s a few months since I wrote about my despair following the Brexit referendum and, as I feared, the walls are coming up. It’s not like Europe has much experience with forcing foreigners and minorities to be physically labelled and publicly humiliated.
So post-Brexit Britain’s new idea of forcing companies to label their foreign employees and humiliate them for not hiring locals is a depressing return to the dark ages.
A further idea is to replace all foreign employees with locals. They’re starting with the NHS — the country’s ubiquitous universal health service — which currently employs about 1.2 million people, of whom 55,000 are EU citizens (30,000 of whom are doctors).
Her Majesty’s UK Government intends to increase the number of medical graduates by 1,500 a year and hope to replace all foreign doctors within 10 years. It’s not stated whether these new graduates will all be blond and blue-eyed, but I think it’s implied.
Some back-of-the-envelope calculations:
- A total of 100,000 immigrant doctors (from both the EU and elsewhere) currently work for the NHS;
- The NHS hires a total of 6,300 doctors a year (growing at about 3.5% annually);
- Of which about 2,300 are immigrants (calculated ratio based on 100,000 immigrant doctors out of 188,000 doctors);
1,500 new doctors a year doesn’t even cover the existing immigrant intake.
Replacing the existing immigrants (2,300), plus replacing 100,000 existing doctors at 10,000 a year to meet the ten-year schedule requires an additional new graduate rate of 12,300 a year (a 191% increase in the number of graduates to about 18,300).
Given there are 300,000 UK school-leavers each year, a whopping 6% of them will need to become doctors each year in order to meet this accelerated schedule.
However, each year the NHS only gets 4,000 of the 6,000 medical graduates (2/3rds of graduates — the rest leave the field, or emigrate). Assuming that there is still at least 20% of graduates who continue to be unavailable to the NHS, this means that the UK will need to train about 21,000 doctors a year (7% of all school leavers a year).
The UK is extremely close to full employment, at 5%. Turning every unemployed person into a doctor is neither possible nor desirable. After all, what about all the foreign-born nurses, teachers, engineers, software developers, designers …?
There aren’t sufficient unemployed blond, blue-eyed, post-Brexit Brits to take up all the jobs deporting all us immigrants will leave behind.
In the interim, I’ve developed a sudden obsession with ocean-going yachts. If it really does all come back to forcing me to wear a yellow star, I will probably head out to sea and find somewhere nice to sit out the coming Armageddon…