In its report, Al Jazeera wrote:

“Faced with high-pressure workloads, bullying and poor support structures, medics are at least twice as likely to die by suicide than the general population.”

The report tells the story of Dr Amandip Sidhu, who, over almost 25 years, established a reputation as an excellent doctor. He became the clinical lead for cardiology at a hospital in Kent and was tasked with spearheading several large projects, including one at a teaching hospital in London.

While many other consultants decided to take on private commercial work, Jagdip was committed to serving the majority of his patients under the publicly funded National Health Service (NHS). He felt strongly that he had a responsibility towards those who needed urgent healthcare but couldn’t pay for it.

But his clinic lists were far longer than his colleagues, and there simply were not enough resources to support the overwhelming number of patients.

Al Jazeera reported that the toll this had on Dr Sidhu eventually resulted in him taking his own life.

This was only one of many exmaples referred to in the story noting that:

Around the world, doctors are two to five times more likely than the general population to die by suicide with female and junior doctors especially high risk. The most recent data from the Office of National Statistics indicate that in the UK alone, 72 medical professionals (including doctors, nurses, therapy professionals, dentists and midwives) took their own lives in 2020 – that is more than one per week. Suicide is also rife among nurses: More than 360 attempted suicide in 2022.

It also noted that factors contributing to the high suicide rate within the medical community “are well established”. Among them are immense, high-pressure workloads, bullying and harassment within a rigidly hierarchical work culture, sleep deprivation, poor support structures and limited resources for employees veering towards burnout.

An unprecedented austerity squeeze on the NHS, which began in 2010 after the government said cuts to public expenditures were needed to resolve the UK’s budget deficit, ramped up pressure on healthcare professionals as hospitals were forced to cut back on front-line services. At roughly the same time, from 2009 to 2019, hospital admissions rose by 20 percent every year while the number of people awaiting treatment increased almost twofold from 2.2 million to 4.3 million.

Anthony Omo, GMC’s Director of Fitness to Practise, told Al Jazeera in a statement:
“A mental health illness is not, in itself, a GMC matter. There’s no need for us to get involved or even know about a doctor’s health condition if they’re getting appropriate medical treatment and support, managing their practice safely and maintaining a good level of care for patients. It is important doctors are encouraged and empowered to seek and follow treatment, as they would want for their own patients.”

Disclaimer: The accuracy and information of news stories published on this website is accurate on the date of publishing. We endeavour to update stories if information change. You can contact us with change and update requests. Where possible, we will link to sources. Content on this website is for guidance purposes only. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.