In a report lamenting a fall in general practitioner (GP) numbers per capita, Britain’s state broadcaster the BBC failed to mention immigration-driven population growth and instead blamed an “ageing” society for the decline.
A study by the Nuffield Trust said the drop in UK doctor numbers from 65 per 100,000 UK residents in 2014 to 60 last year, marked the first sustained fall in the figure since the 1960s.
In its report on the study, which noted patient groups complained that the phenomena was “causing real difficulties in making appointments”, the BBC report failed to mention two million-strong population growth since 2014 and instead focussed purely on working conditions for doctors working in general practice and recruitment to explain the drop.
Campaign group Migration Watch UK, however, criticised the report, noting there was “no mention whatsoever” of mass migration — or even general population growth — in the public broadcaster’s report.
“The BBC reports today that GP numbers have fallen from 65 per 100,000 in 2014 to 60 per 100,000 last year. Unsurprisingly, they say this is due to population ageing,” the policy watchdog wrote.
“The General Medical Council said last year that rising population volumes are contributing to workplace pressures on GPs. The fact is that 80% of population growth is being driven by immigration. Why is it so difficult for the BBC and politicians to acknowledge this?” they added.
The continued rise in the national population — meaning more patients needing to be seen per doctor, on average — has been further compounded by a fall in the number of doctors working as GPs in the UK of 1,500 since 2014.
Migration Watch had registered similar objections earlier this week in relation to a Times story, which reported that the National Health Service (NHS) was launching a “global recruitment drive for tens of thousands of foreign nurses over the next five years” in order to cater for “the extra staff needed to care for an ageing population”.
The think tank commented: “Blaming the elderly is easy, but pressure on the NHS is also driven by population growth, of which 80% since 2001 resulted directly or indirectly from immigration. While the number of nurses and midwives in the UK fell by 23% in the period 1997-2017, the UK population grew by 13%.”
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