International doctors working in the NHS: Why the UK?

international doctors working the nhs

Why do so many international doctors want to join the NHS? In the UK, an increasing disease burden coupled with an aging population means that demand for skilled healthcare workers from overseas is on the rise. Britain is simply not putting enough doctors through medical school to meet this ever increasing need, and so it looks overseas to meet its workforce requirements. In this article, we outline some of the benefits for international doctors working in the NHS.

What is the NHS?

The NHS is the UK’s National Health Service and currently employs more than 1.8 million people. It is the biggest employer in the UK and the eighth largest in the world, providing free healthcare at the point of service for all British citizens who need it. The NHS cares for millions of people every day and is the central pillar of healthcare provision in the UK.

Why do international doctors working in the NHS choose to relocate to the UK?

International doctors working in the NHS choose to move to the UK for a wide variety of reasons. Whether you’re a newly qualified doctor or you’ve been working in the healthcare industry for a while, you might be considering making the move to the UK. For many doctors, this is a lifetime goal as the NHS is considered to be one of the most prestigious healthcare systems in the world and the NHS workforce has become an institution in Britain.

Life in the NHS as a doctor can involve working with an interesting variety of patients and cases. It is one of the most rewarding an respected career paths in the country. One of the main benefits of working in the NHS is the opportunity to learn new skills and develop your career. In the NHS there is a strong focus on training and helping doctors progress.

International doctors working in the NHS join one of the most prestigious healthcare systems in the world

The NHS is considered to be one of the most prestigious healthcare systems in the world.​ It is world-renowned for being at the forefront of patient care and cutting edge healthcare technology. This is one of the main reasons why so many doctors and nurses are keen to relocate to the UK.

In 2018, the NHS celebrated its 70th anniversary – a celebration which highlighted its incredibly long history and the incredible impact that it has had on national and international healthcare. International doctors working in the NHS bring so much diversity of thought and experience with them to the UK, improving the quality of the service as a whole. Equally, these doctors learn so much about medical best practice from working in one of the most prestigious global healthcare systems, and the knowledge and skills they learn are often taken back with them to their home countries, thus improving healthcare provision for patients around the world

Doctor career progression and training for international doctors working in the NHS

Learning new skills and developing your career is one of the top advantages of working in the NHS. The NHS has a strong focus on training and helping staff to progress. Some international doctors we have worked with unfortunately found that they were unable to progress up the career ladder in their home countries through no fault of their own. However, in the UK, progression is very meritocratic, meaning that if you are willing to put in the work then you will be able to work your way up to a consultant-level post.

NHS doctors will have regular reviews and a clear progression plan which maps out exactly what is expected of them in order to obtain their next promotion. Read our handy guide to learn more about career progression for international doctors working in the NHS.

International doctors working in the NHS find working with patients from diverse backgrounds deeply rewarding

One of the main reasons international doctors working in the NHS tell us they chose to relocate to the UK is because of their commitment to supporting an egalitarian healthcare system and the feeling of knowing they are caring for people from all walks of life. These doctors are contributing to the health and wellbeing of thousands of people from all different backgrounds. As a wholly publicly funded organisation that is free at the point of service for all British citizens, you will be providing healthcare to everyone, regardless of their financial situation or background. Through its vast network of hospitals and organisations, the NHS provides fair and equitable access to care, contributing to a more equal society. As international doctors working in the NHS, our candidates often tell us that working every day to provide healthcare for even the most vulnerable patients is the most satisfying part of the job.

Pension, Pay and Benefits for International Doctors Working in the NHS

Salary and Pay

All NHS doctors and staff will find that their salary is attached to an NHS salary band. The NHS salary banding system ensures that staff pay across the NHS is equal for all doctors at the same grade and ensures pay parity among staff who bring the same level of experience, regardless of their background. However, Remedium’s new international doctors working in the NHS sometimes find the system confusing. Fortunately, we put together this handy guide to help you understand how these salary bands work and how much you can expect to get paid as an international doctor working in the NHS.

NHS Doctor Pensions

NHS pension schemes are generally considered to be some of the best in the country. These generous pensions are a key reason why many choose to become international doctors working in the NHS. However, navigating the schemes can be tricky and how much you will get will depend on what type of doctor you are. We recommend this guide from the British Medical Association to understand more about how these pension schemes work.

Other benefits for international doctors working in the NHS

In addition to your regular hours, supporting professional activities (SPAs) are included as part of some contracts and give international doctors working in the NHS the opportunity to commit allocated time to professional development. SPA activity may include teaching and training, medical education or other types of continuing professional development. The amount of SPA time you will be allocated in your contract depends on your role and grade.

The NHS is also committed to your wellbeing outside of the workplace, as demonstrated by schemes such as the ‘Blue Light Card’. Many NHS Trusts directly provide NHS discounts to staff through this scheme which can be used on groceries, clothing and even in restaurants and bars.

Childcare in NHS hospitals 

For many staff, the availability of high-quality, affordable, and reliable childcare is one of the most important factors when choosing which employer to work for.

The NHS is committed to ensuring that staff with children are supported. You will be far from the only working parent in any hospital or care setting. Many hospitals have nurseries and private childcare options (especially for early years) within a reasonable traveling distance, and some have childcare within the hospital grounds.

Depending on your hospital, staff may be eligible to receive childcare vouchers to help with the cost of childcare.

Let your Remedium NHS recruitment expert know that you will require childcare when you move to the UK and we will make sure we find the best hospital to suit your requirements.

Quality of Life for International Doctors Working in the UK

Quality of life in the UK is generally high and many of Remedium’s international doctors working in the UK tell us how wonderful life is for both them and their families. Atmospheric pollution is low and the climate is temperate. Picking the right location within the UK is vital to ensure your happiness, as you may be someone who prefers to live in a busy city or someone who loves the quiet countryside. Either way, Britain will have a town or location that is perfect for you and your family, and our team can support you to ensure that the culture of your new home suits you and provides you with the quality of life you desire both at work and at home.

Remedium can support you with your journey to the UK

This article gives you some insight into some of the benefits experienced by Remedium’s international doctors working in the NHS. If you have any more questions regarding NHS doctor pay, work/life balance, wellness, childcare, or accommodation, we can help. Our expert recruitment team can support you to find the right NHS doctor jobs for you, and once you secure a job placement within an NHS hospital you will be assigned a Remedium onboarding executive who will help you at every step of the relocation process, at absolutely no cost (we are paid by our NHS hospital clients). In addition to sourcing suitable accommodation, your onboarding executive will support you with navigating the COS and visa process, finding suitable childcare for your children, making connections in your new local community, and much more!

If you’re looking for career advice or a new role, please register your details and upload your CV and one of our relocation experts will be in touch.

Register with Remedium today

Upload your details and CV so we can match you with the perfect role.