Employing EU clinicians has earnt UK over £3 billion in past five years

Author: Caroline White
Employing EU clinicians has earnt UK over £3 billion in past five years

Employing clinicians from the European Union (EU) has earnt the UK more than £3 billion over the past five years, suggest calculations by digital healthcare provider Medbelle.

The figures include income taxes of almost £1.5 billion, plus a further £1.6 billion in savings on education and training costs between 2014 and 2018.

As the UK relies heavily on a medical workforce sourced from beyond its shores, Medbelle wanted to shine a light on the impact Britain’s departure from the EU is likely to have.

The calculations are based on the average number of EU-born doctors and nurses who were trained overseas and worked in the UK in this period; how much they would have paid in UK tax contributions; as well as the amount it would have cost the UK government to train them.

Data sources were taken from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and labour market information provided by WageIndicator.org.

The overall savings and earnings stand at over £3 billion, the equivalent of running the entire British government (including salaries) for five and a half years (£552 million per year).

But the monies are also the equivalent of financing two years of no-deal Brexit preparations, estimated to cost £1.5 billion a year; 3,456 MRI scanners (£895,000 each); 562,427 hip operations (£5,500 each); or the salaries of 57,928 nurses with five years professional experience for one year, at an average yearly salary of £53,400, calculates Medbelle.

“Everyone working within the UK medical profession, whether NHS or private, knows the huge value that foreign-born doctors and nurses bring to the UK in terms of their experience, wealth of knowledge and support. However, an aspect that is often overlooked from the outside is not only how much money EU medical workers contribute to the UK in income tax and social contributions, but also how much the government has saved in terms of education,” comments Daniel Kolb, CEO at Medbelle.

“We hope that those in charge will be adequately prepared to increase funding into medical education to compensate after Brexit.”

Medical Professions

Average numbers per year from EU countries (2014-2018)

Taxes from income over five-year period


Savings from overseas education


Overall income and savings


Foreign-Trained Doctors

Stock (Average 2014-2018)





Foreign-Trained Nurses

Stock (Average 2014-2018)