Posted by : Varun Doshi
On : 03 June 2014
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Views : 2292
Indian doctors are at least four times more likely to be struck off from practising in UK than medics who are trained locally, according to latest figures. According to statistics from the General Medical Council (GMC), in the past five years, 117 doctors trained in India and Pakistan have been barred from working in the UK.
The figures add up to around 1 in 1,000 doctors who are trained in UK being struck off during that period as against 1 in 250 of those trained in India, and 1 in 350 of those from Pakistan. The country with the largest number of doctors removed from the UK register is India, followed by Pakistan, Egypt and Nigeria.
Between them, the four countries account for 1 in 6 medics working here and doctors from overseas overall now make up 1 in 3 medics working in the UK, Daily Telegraph reported. The revelations are being seen as further proof of discrimination within the system by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO).
The group had recently lost its high court legal action claiming overseas doctors, especially from the Indian sub-continent, who wanted to become GPs were being discriminated against. However, the judge had hailed their "moral victory" as he stressed the need to address differentials in the system. "We have been fighting against discrimination for years. On the one hand, the government has approached BAPIO to help with recruitment of Indian doctors to plug the shortage in their emergency departments and on the other they refuse to step in when unfair claims are made on their competency, said BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta.
Most recently, Health Education England revealed a programme to recruit at least 50 trainee doctors via video-link interviews from India to tackle shortages in the country s Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. Patient groups had expressed alarm at this recruitment process, which bypasses certain language and other tests for overseas doctors.
The GMC stressed that the latest figures showed that it is committed to taking action where doctors fall below standards. It has commissioned a major review into how the knowledge of foreign doctors is assessed. GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said "International medical graduates make a huge contribution to health care in the UK and the vast majority of them provide excellent care for their patients.
"However, we know that doctors coming here from overseas can find it difficult to adapt to different cultural norms and it is certainly true that in the past not enough was done to support them when they first came to practise in this country."