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JCPTGP is out of touch - I'm going back home

I cannot disagree more strongly with the issues raised in Katie Carter's reply about why the JCPTGP imposes such difficult hurdles for GPs with overseas experience to come to the UK and work within the NHS (Letters, October 13).

She asserts the JCPTGP needs to be 'satisfied that applicants have knowledge and skills equivalent' to UK GPs. I obtained my fellowship of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practice after a similar GP training course to the MRCGP. I had been a GP for 18 years before applying to come to the UK to work.

Despite having been a GP teacher and regional director for vocational GP training I was required by the JCPTGP to become a GP registrar again and sit summative assessment. At great personal expense I took two weeks off, employed a locum and flew from New Zealand to attend the required interviews simply to join the VTS scheme as a GP registrar. I obtained my summative assessment.

At the time I accepted this as part of the cost of what I wanted to achieve but I have met many GPs now who have also had to undergo these seemingly pointless and costly exercises and have heard of others who, frustrated by the whole process, have just given up.

She cites 'patient safety grounds' as another excuse for their draconian measures. What about the safety of rural and inner-city patients who cannot get to see a GP, even (horror of horrors!) an overseas GP. No ­ the JCPTGP and its medical advisers are badly out of touch with reality. They need to look again at how better to deal with this issue, since their actions are denying the wider GP and patient community of an enormous pool of trained and qualified GPs.

Finally, Ms Carter states that more training in the current form will lead to 'greater job satisfaction and retention'. Wrong again. I leave on December 6 to return to New Zealand.

Dr Andrew Humphrey

John O'Groats

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