In some ways, the U.K.’s doctor shortage resembles the worldwide crunch in health care.

From France and Germany to the U.S., Spain and the Nordics, aging populations are increasing demand for doctors, nurses and care workers. Yet medical training is expensive, the number of training placements for graduates is limited and the pandemic has left many doctors spent.

When it comes to the U.K., imagine those pressures on steroids. At the end of last year, there were around 124,000 health care vacancies in England; of these, nearly 9,000 were doctors, though that surely understates the extent of the problem. By 2030, one in four general practitioner posts are estimated to be vacant.