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Jobs boost as GMC seeks to ease registration rules

Jobs boost as GMC seeks to ease registration rules

GP recruitment has been given a boost after the GMC unveiled proposals to abolish limited registration for overseas doctors.

Under the plans to overhaul licensing and registration, the GMC has recommended doctors coming to the UK after next April should be entitled to full registration on their arrival. The move would loosen tight restrictions on overseas doctors' ability to practise here.

Doctors coming to the UK are only eligible for limited registration under current rules and must work under full supervision of another GP, normally in a training practice.

They must also prove they have a job offer before being registered and can only keep limited registration for five years.

If the GMC's proposed changes get the go-ahead from the Department of Health, overseas GPs would only have to work in a 'managed environment' for two years. At this time they would undergo their first revalidation.

All UK and European doctors will also have their first revalidation after two years.

The Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP) said the plans would create 'parity' for overseas doctors.

Chief executive Katie Cart-er said existing rules gave overseas doctors the impression there was a problem with their ability to practise unless they could prove otherwise.

She added the need to have a job offer in order to be registered had proved 'an adverse hurdle' for doctors wanting to work in the UK.

'We support the GMC's plans to make the registration process simpler and fairer. We strongly endorse the principles,' she said.

Dr Shiv Pande, chair of the British International Doctors Association, said the changes were a 'dream come true'.

Dr Pande, a GP in Liverpool, added: 'We are looking at a manpower shortage everywhere and this will help out tremendously. It will relieve overseas doctors of a lot of anxiety.'

GPC negotiator Dr Laurence Buckman, a member of the JCPTGP Equivalent Experience Panel which scrutinises overseas applications, welcom-ed the move but said it was too early to say what effect it would have on GP numbers.

By Nerys Hairon

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