Sarah Wollaston Reveals Her Daughter And 8 Of Her Doctor Friends Have Quit NHS For Australia

The chair of the Commons health committee has revealed her own daughter has moved abroad as a result of the working conditions faced by junior doctors in Britain.

Sarah Wollaston, who was herself a GP before being elected to parliament in 2010, said on Thursday there was a "huge brain drain" from the NHS.

The Tory MP told BBC 2's Daily Politics programme: "My own daughter who is a junior doctor is one of those who has left to go to Australia.

"Not just her, but her husband and eight of their closest friends - all gone. And they arrived in a hospital Australia where they've yet to meet a junior doctor trained in Australia within the casualty department," she said.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been heavily criticised by medical professionals for proposed changed to junior doctor contracts.

Doctors argue the imposition of a new contract amounts to a pay cut of up to 30% as it reduces overtime pay. The changes have led to calls for strikes.

Wollaston said today she felt a strike would be "very damaging" and said she hoped doctors would "step back from that acton". She added: "I hope both sides will step back from a dispute."

Hunt has attacked his critics for making claims about the government's programme that are not true. "We are not asking junior doctors to work longer hours that wouldn’t be safe. And nor are we seeking to cut their pay,” he told the Tory confernece. "It's utterly irresponsible for some people to try and scare people into believing that we are."