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A faulty production line

BMA contributes £25k to international doctors' judicial review fund

The BMA has contributed £25,000 to support an international doctors’ group’s judicial review against alleged racial bias in the MRCGP exam, with the possibility of more funding to follow.

The BMA has promised to contribute £20,000 to fund the judicial review being taken by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin into the low pass rates of international medical graduates taking the RCGP exit exam, with a further £5,000 worth of legal advice from a QC.

However, BAPIO said that more money was needed to help fund the £200,000 legal bill.

Pulse reported last month that the BMA had decided to put its weight behind the legal action, which is due to take place in early February, but this is the first direct financial contribution it has made.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, chair of the GPC GP trainees subcommittee and the new chair of the BMA’s chair of the Equality and Diversity Committee, said the BMA could not rule out further contributions.

He said: ‘We can’t say no to [the possibility of more contributions]. It depends on how the BMA takes it forward.’

Dr Kasaraneni added that as as the judicial review has begun, the BMA cannot add its name to the process. However, he said: ‘The support and the collaborative work has started and depending on how things go from here, if we have to work even closer, that is what we will do.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, chair of BAPIO, welcomed the contribution but said he hoped more would follow.

He said: ‘We are very pleased that the BMA has decided to contribute to our legal challenge.

‘We need to collect £200,000 so this is a very small amount for what is required. Although we are thankful to the BMA, we hope they will contribute more in due course.’

The BMA also called on members to provide information about their experiences taking the clinical skills assessment component of the exam, and asked them what needs to change.

Readers' comments (27)

  • This comment has been removed by the moderator.

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  • Hey Pulse, What's with all the censorship?

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  • @6:12. erm nobody is asking for the exam to be watered down just fair. please do some reading. IMGS ask that they have access to useful feedback and a fair appeals process. That is not watering down. having 2 examiners in each room to balance any possible bias is not watering down. it's common sense. it is easy to forget about injustice when one has got through the csa........

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  • Una Coales

    @3:37 IMGs sit a competitive UK GP entry exam/assessment before they commence GP training. Their English has already been tested by the IELTS. If their English is so poor, then why were they allowed to treat NHS patients for 3 years in hospitals and GP surgeries. Some were med registrars and staff grades so worked in the NHS for up to a decade prior. At no time, did their educational or clinical supervisor pull them from seeing patients. Either the hospitals and GP trainers are liable for putting NHS patients at risk from 'poorly speaking' IMGs or perhaps being forced into a 'hot' seat to 'perform' in front of actors and know they have a 15x chance of failing, may be the psychological cause?

    As Sir Cliff Richard said today on the BBC Morning Show...He was in such awe at being knighted by the Queen, that he replied 'whagabagabu' when she said 'about time' and thought the Queen must think he can't even speak English!

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  • I strongly believe that without good grasp of English language, its not possible to consult properly with English speaking patients. But if it was only the IMGs than i would have thought that there was lack of communication on behalf of IMGs. But looking at evidence tells me there is MASSIVE difference in pass rates between UK born and trained Caucassian VS non white (ie british asian and afro-carrib) doctors who are also born and triained in same system from the start of med school to being a GP.
    how do we explain this difference ???

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  • I get more and more surprised when IMG post so passionately and logically to educate these biased bloggers.
    It comes across as an ethinic minority defending their chastity.
    Please stop doing that.

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  • Dr.Coales is someone to be celebrated!!
    It is reassuring to know there are selfless human souls out there while some GPs are fixated on their bank balance and power!!

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  • Dr Una Coales is a great person and has my great respect.
    An IMG doctor .

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  • Dr Una Coales needs to recall that published research shows that, on selection, IMGs perform far worse than UKGs and that their performance on selection tests predicts quite neatly the failure rate on the AKT and CSA. Why is she so surprised that IMGs perform less well in the CSA and aggressive about this? Her own hidden bias, maybe.

    Talking to hospital Consultants about the quality of IMGs inevitably results in two responses: a) "the two best trainees that I've ever had were IMGs from (e.g.) Delhi"; and b) but that "mostly the IMG trainees were of poor quality, but you cannot say anything or you are identified as a racist".

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  • Una Coales

    I would strongly urge the RCGP to offer the video module as an alternative to the CSA for those who feel or perceive the CSA as disadvantaging them (British BME or IMGs) based on skin colour or non RP accents. The video module with real patient consultations had a negligible difference in pass rates based on ethnicity and was used as the GP licensing exam by deaneries as part of summative assessment prior to 2007.

    There is a precedent as the RCGP did offer GPs the simulated surgery module as an alternative to the video module for the MRCGP exam prior to 2007 for those who could not find English first language patients in their NHS surgeries to film.

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