I left profession due to patients' 'post-Brexit racism', says former NHS doctor

20 July 2022, 12:32 | Updated: 20 July 2022, 12:34

By Fiona Jones

This former NHS doctor told LBC that after years of austerity, it was patients' post-Brexit opinion on immigrants that made him leave the profession.

Caller Richard told MP Chris Bryant on LBC that Conservative austerity "corroded everything" he had worked for as a doctor, until he had "had enough."

Since its inception the NHS funding increased on average 4.7% per annum, yet between 2010 and 2019 it was "effectively underfunded by £156 billion," the former doctor said.

However, Brexit was the straw that broke the camel's back: "Up until 2016, I don't think anybody ever mentioned Europe. I hardly ever had a patient mention it.

"Afterwards I was getting lots and lots of patients coming in suddenly having an opinion about the immigration, about the NHS, 'it's great to see a white doctor who speaks English'.

"Suddenly these people who'd never mentioned any concern about foreign workers or 'boat people', or anything to do with European rules, never mentioned anything...suddenly it became a subject.

"That really became the final straw on top of everything else."

The former doctor denigrated the Prime Minister for his Covid response, which made a "complete disaster" of the NHS: "I contacted our MP at the beginning of March 2020 saying 'shut down now, people are going to die in huge numbers'.

"You could see it was all falling apart, but [Boris Johnson] just vacillates, he ruminates, he did whatever was appropriate for him at the time."

Caller Richard told Chris Bryant that his "best period" working for the NHS was instead under a Labour Government.