More NHS doctors should be home-grown after UK leaves EU, suggests Jeremy Hunt


Jeremy Hunt has suggested he would like to see fewer foreign doctors in the NHS after Brexit.

The Health Secretary said leaving the European Union will "throw into sharp relief the number of doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants we need to import every year in order to sustain our health system".

Getting more British doctors into the health service may involve allowing more domestic students into medical school, he suggested.

Mr Hunt told the Mail on Sunday: "I think people will ask whether it is right when we are turning away bright British youngsters from medical school - who might get three A-stars (at A-level) but still can't get in - at the same time we are importing people from all over the world. I think it's a debate we need to have."

Although he campaigned for Britain to remain in the union, Mr Hunt said the message from the referendum was clear - that free movement of EU citizens should end.

Despite having previously supported membership of the European single market, he said: "History has moved on. I have understood in a way I did not before that the single market is not a single concept.

"Whatever we end up with has to respect the clear decision by the British people to regain control of our borders and end freedom of movement."

He also revealed that the first thing he did after being told by Theresa May he would continuing as Health Secretary under her premiership was to put the NHS badge he usually wears back on his lapel.

Speaking of his meeting with the Prime Minister at Downing Street after she took over, he said: "I made a very big mistake, which is to believe what I heard on the BBC, which is that I was going to be moved. So I thought I had better not wear my NHS badge. No one was more surprised and delighted than I was when Theresa told me she wanted me to stay. Literally the first thing that I did - she must have thought it was a bit odd - was to reach into my pocket, take the badge out and put it back on."