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Broken promises to overseas GPs

From Dr Mark Reed and Dr Catherine Sweeney, Reading

The Government seems to have realised, finally, that it is wrong to steal doctors from poor countries who have spent years training them for our 'first-world NHS'.

But the result of this realisation is the crass policy of sending back to the Indian sub-continent many doctors who began service here and who had hoped to work in the NHS. For the sake of policy and planning, our Department of Health has broken promises and dismissed these individuals as irrelevant. But if individuals don't matter then population and society also do not, by logical deduction.How will India and Pakistan view us now, if we treat their professionals with such disdain?We should have honoured the implicit promise to train these people and then encouraged them to return home when they were ready. It is worth noting, of course, that medical training actually consists of doctors working very hard for very long hours at the front line of medical care with the minimum of supervision.Many of these doctors were granted admission under the highly skilled migrant worker programme. Now they've been told they are not welcome, will they get compensation for their flights over here? Many of these people intended to return home after their training was complete; they hoped to benefit their countries of origin with the skills they developed while serving our population, who have depended for many years on their hard work. This benefit will also be lost to these nations.

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