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GPs to provide care in world's most challenging countries

UK GPs will have a chance to bring their skills and experience to vulnerable patients in countries struggling to provide quality healthcare through a ‘landmark partnership’ between the RCGP and international aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

The initial two projects will run for three years and focus on family medicine, and will see trained RCGP members volunteering in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East for placements between six and 24 months.

One posting will be in Swaziland, at MSF’s Matsapha comprehensive care clinic, which specialises in treating patients with tuberculosis and HIV, and also offers maternity and children’s health services.

A second placement, in Irbid, Jordan – which is currently home to large numbers of refugees displaced by the Syrian civil war – will focus on treating long-term, non-communicable diseases. MSH and the Ministry of health have identified diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease as among the greatest disease burden for refugees.

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, said the partnership is a key part of the RCGP’s 10-year international strategy to promote family medicine.

She added: ‘I am confident that the resilience, compassion and dedication to providing excellent, holistic care for patients that UK GPs show at home, will be an asset to these MSF projects - and the patients being treated there.’

Vickie Hawkins, executive director of MSF said: ‘GPs are perfectly placed to make a significant contribution to MSF’s projects in the field; they not only have a range of skills, allowing them to treat children, adults and the elderly for a variety of conditions, they also have experience of running medical practices.

‘In the challenging environments that our teams often face, this combination of skills will help us to carry on providing high quality medical care to those who might not otherwise have access to it.’

Last year a group of six UK GPs, including care.data rebel Dr Gordon Gancz, travelled to Sierra Leone to help treat and control the country’s Ebola outbreak

Photo credit: Médecins Sans Frontières

Readers' comments (21)

  • Erm.... I think you might find that is any of the countries that make up the U.K. (Seriously )

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  • Well done RCGP. Keep it up!!!

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  • FFS,at the same time they seem to be contributing to the running down GP land in the UK.I bet the medics going to these places get more respect than we do here.

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  • John Glasspool

    "UK GPs will have a chance to bring their skills and experience to vulnerable patients in countries struggling to provide quality healthcare through a ‘landmark partnership’ between the RCGP and international aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)."

    A struggling country- er.. like England? Try sending them to West Southampton.

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  • Hands up GPs who have experience in TB and HIV, as well as ability to do forceps and Caesareans?

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  • The Royal College .....I wonder how long that 'Royal' status will last with antics like these.

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  • Well done RCGP. A big boo to the usual supects on this board (and I am one of them)

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  • Do they have Fit notes in these countries.I guess I could sign a few of those

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  • Well Done RCGP ... Scotland and Wales are crying out for GPs !

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  • Never bite the hand that feeds you? look after your own growing number of discontented and vitriolic system before trying to look after others you fools.

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