A government minister was unable to answer how many NHS staff have left the country due to Brexit in an embarassing interview on Wednesday morning.
Care and mental health minister Gillian Keegan fumbled during an interview on Good Morning Britain after Susanna Reid pressed her on the figures amid rising staff absences in hospitals throughout the UK due to coronavirus.
She said: “I don’t have that number” before trying to change the subject by explaining the government’s EU resettlement scheme.
Reid tried to ask again and Keegan said again “I don’t have that number” to which Reid replied “I’m asking you why not?”
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“We don’t measure our NHS staff by where they come from,” Keegan said.
“We have more NHS staff in general and they’ve come from all over… and there’s also lots more medical schools and nursing schools been set up here to help our own young people or people who want to retrain…”
Reid said: “So according to figures, and this is two years ago, more than 22,000 EU nationals have left the NHS since the Brexit referendum. That was two years ago so I have no idea what the figures are now but you are saying every single one of those posts has been filled by somebody else.”
Keegan said we have 10,000 more nurses and 5,000 more doctors and so those posts have been filled.
But reacting to the clip, people thought Keegan had a bit of a shocker:
Elsewhere on her media round, Keegan revealed that around one million people are currently self-isolating with coronavirus.
She told Sky News: “We don’t collect that data on a daily basis but it’s obvious if you look at the number of people who tested positive yesterday – about 215,000, they’ll all be self isolating…it’s probably about a million people self isolating right now.“