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Non-UK qualified doctors “a cause for concern”

8 October 2009

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The performance of non-white GPs who qualify outside the UK is a growing cause for concern, according to the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS).

In regards to performance assessments, it reports that “assessment has been significantly more likely among non-white practitioners qualifying outside the UK, than among white UK-qualified practitioners”.

The eight-year NCAS study found that non-whites account for nearly 60% of the assessments carried out, which often lead to them working under special measures or even being suspended from work altogether.

Dr Peter Old, Assistant Medical Director at NCAS, says that the report highlights a need for more training.

He says: “PCTs may need to have better induction schemes for doctors who have qualified outside the EU, making it clear where doctors can get help if they need it.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

National Clinical Assessment Service

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“It is criminal that these doctors leave their country of origin which may desperately need medics for treating their own population, and come to the UK to be paid less (because their qualifications are not recognised) than doctors who are trained in the UK – the NHS is able to save money by using non-UK trained medics, but does this mean better treatment for patients? The answer, as we know, is a definite NO. Increasingly, while UK-trained GPs and other doctors are allowed the perks of their trade, foreign-trained doctors are being used to treat patients, sometimes resulting in deaths due to wrong medication, wrong dose of medication, wrong method of medicating patients. This is a false economy, because ultimately, the NHS has to pay the costs of litigation, which far outweigh the short-termism in employing foreign trained doctors. The NHS is only able to provide a service by using foreign trained nurses and doctors, and I think it is very poor practice. For one thing, the agency employing and responsible for checking on criminal records etc does not always get it right – once again exposing patients to possible errors of judgment in diagnosing and treating patients” – Cie Gee, London