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Why the UK Suddenly Is Suffering from a Physician Shortage

• https://fee.org, Ben Johnson

A UK tax policy intended to soak the rich has caused highly specialized physicians and surgeons to retire early, depriving more than a million citizens of their services. A new report details the extent to which progressive taxation has harmed British patients.

The NHS is in a state of perpetual crisis characterized by doctor shortages, long wait times, and rationing. The UK lost 441 general practitioners last year and had 11,576 unfilled vacancies for doctors as of last June.

Closing up Shop

But in the last six years, 585 surgical practices have closed down, affecting 1.9 million patients. Last year alone, 138 surgery facilities closed their doors, up from 18 in 2013.

What changed during that time? The Daily Mail explains:

The [British Medical Association] has warned that growing numbers of GPs and consultants are taking early retirement or cutting back on work to avoid hefty pensions taxes which make it uneconomic to continue practising. Retiring GPs often create a domino effect by leaving remaining colleagues with more work, who in turn become demoralised and quit.

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