Medical register tops 300,000 for first time

THE number of doctors registered to practise in the UK has topped 300,000 for the first time, new figures from the General Medical Council show.

It comes almost 20 years since the last milestone of 200,000 which occurred just after the turn of the century.

Of the 300,381 doctors currently on the GMC’s register, there are 70,134 GPs and 95,909 specialists.

The number of women in the workforce has more than doubled in the past two decades. They now make up 46 per cent of registered doctors, or a total of 138,641 compared to 161,740 men.

About a third of registrants identify as black and minority ethnic, while four in 10 obtained their medical degree outside the UK.

Just over 40 per cent of registrants are under 40 compared to a fifth aged 55 and over. In 2018, there were almost 42,500 students at UK medical schools.

The increase in doctors will be welcome news as recent figures suggest there could be as many as 100,000 vacancies in the NHS.

Una Lane, Director of Registration and Revalidation at the GMC, said: “Today we have more doctors than ever but we know that they are working in a system under pressure as they struggle to meet increased demand and the needs of an ageing population.

“As the medical regulator, we will continue to play our part in ensuring that the UK has the medical workforce it needs to respond to the needs of patients and we will continue to support doctors in providing high quality care to patients across all four countries of the UK.”