A leading psychiatrist has warned of the ‘massive problem’ of depleting numbers of mental health doctors.
Professor Dinesh Bhugra, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said not enough British doctors were training as psychiatrists while visa restrictions meant foreign doctors could no longer fill the gap.
He said 14 per cent of consultants posts in the UK were either unfilled or filled by a locum. An additional 209 consultants intended to retire or resign soon.
‘This is a huge, a massive problem,’ Prof Bhugra told the Guardian.
‘We will be left with a dangerous vacuum of help for people with mental health disorders or will be forced to get special dispensation from the Government to recruit heavily from countries who can ill afford to lose their mental health professionals.