Number of Scots studying medicine sinks to new low

The number of Scots securing a place at university north of the border to study clinical medicine has dropped to its lowest since the SNP came to power.
 
Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed that 2160 Scottish-domiciled students successfully enrolled in courses offering clinical medicine, such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Aberdeen last year.
 
That compares to 2210 in 2015/16, and is significantly lower than the 2350 who enrolled in 2013/14.
 
As far back as 2007/08, there were 2225 successful applicants.
 
Previous research has suggested Scottish students account for around 50 per cent of the clinical medical cohort in universities here.
 
Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said the statistics showed the SNP’s approach was failing Scottish young people, with universities forced to take in fee-paying non-EU students.
 
He added that if young Scots with aspirations of studying medicine were forced to go elsewhere, the chances of them working on the NHS here once qualified were greatly reduced.
 
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:
 

“The decline in Scottish students studying medicine at Scottish universities under the SNP government is a big concern.
 
“If the SNP had maintained levels since coming to power, hundreds more young Scottish people would have had the opportunity to study medicine.
 
“This would have gone some way to solving the GP crisis we are currently facing across the country, not to mention some specific shortages in other areas.
 
“Everyone recognises that Scottish medical students are more likely to stay and work in the NHS when they qualify than students from other parts of the UK, and indeed abroad.
 
“But, thanks to this SNP government, too many bright young Scots who want to study medicine are being pushed out and that’s something that needs to be addressed urgently.
 
“It’s all very well for the SNP to blame Brexit, as it does for everything, but the fact is we could be training far more of our own doctors, but are simply failing to do so.”