By Charles King
Doctors’ mental health problems have been highlighted by new figures showing these conditions accounted for the highest number of income protection claims last year.
Just over a quarter of claimers put mental health down as the primary factor behind their claim with the mutual Wesleyan Financial Services.
But hospital doctors and GPs recorded the highest number of mental health claims.
As many as 39% of claims from hospital doctors were due to mental health issues and 38% of GPs also cited mental health as the primary reason for their claim.
Long hours and physically and emotionally exhausting workloads in the pandemic contributed to widespread burnout and a knock-on impact on the mental health of a large number of health care professionals, the company said.
Alec Collie, its head of medical, said: ‘It is alarming that mental health tops the reasons for income protection claims. Recent figures show that 58% of doctors are currently suffering from symptoms of depression, stress or anxiety and many are expected to leave their positions this year as a result of their mental health.’
Wesleyan said it had donated more than £100,000 to charities offering mental health support to doctors and dentists.
See www.wesleyan.co.uk/news/2021/02/1-million-support-package and www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n22