The UK Medical Licensing Assessment could be introduced for international doctors hoping to practice in Britain, but the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned that this must not burden medical graduates.
The General Medical Council (GMC) has approved a plan to work with partners to develop the assessment, with a provisional launch date of 2021, but said that its form and cost have yet to be discussed or agreed.
The scheme would replace the existing professional and linguistic assessment board test undertaken by international students looking to practice medicine in the UK.
Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said “It is important that patients have confidence in the training of those who are treating them, no matter where they have trained.
“But while patient safety should be a priority, it is also important that the process of examination is not an unreasonable burden for those who have just graduated from UK medical school training.”
Professor Terence Stephenson, the Chair of the GMC, said: “These are early days but the Council has decided that we should develop a licensing assessment which creates a straightforward and transparent route to medical practice in the UK.
“Medicine is an increasingly mobile profession and we must have systems in place which not only make sure that UK-trained graduates meet the required standards but that all doctors practising here have been examined and evaluated to the same high level,” he said.