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Judicial review into claims of racial bias in MRCGP will begin in April

The judicial review into alleged racial bias in the MRCGP exam brought by an international doctors’ group will begin at the High Court on 8 April, Pulse has learnt.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, chair of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) which is taking the legal action, confirmed the review is scheduled for 8 April and will last for three days.

BAPIO is being represented by Karon Monaghan QC, a barrister specialising in equality and human rights law who previously advised the Government’s women and equality unit on the Discrimination Law Review which preceded the Equality Act 2010.

The judicial review will look at claims from BAPIO that the RCGP is ‘directly racially discriminating’ against some groups of candidates through the MRCGP exam, and whether the assessment should be declared unlawful.

The RCGP says the claims ‘have no merit’, and that there is no evidence that examiners mark people from ethnic minorities differently simply because of their ethnicity.

Dr Mehta said: ‘We have a QC – Karon Monaghan, who is one of the top barristers – who will represent our case. There will be no witnesses but we will provide a written statement.’

The legal case began back in February last year, after BAPIO failed to come to any agreement with the RCGP and the GMC about addressing high failure rates among international medical graduates in the clinical skills assessment (CSA) part of the exam.

Dr Krishna Kasareneni, chair of the GPC’s GP trainees subcommittee, confirmed to Pulse the BMA is in the process of gathering evidence in support of BAPIO’s case, as well as helping to fund the legal action.

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Readers' comments (16)

  • Vinci Ho

    Still believe in a legal system by common law.
    Save comments until the time of JR.......

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  • About time

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  • I am an IMG who passed AKT at first sitting, CSA at 2nd sitting, I have completed all my WBA I.e. CBD, COTs, OOH, MSF and addressed all concerns raised at the last panel before the 6mths extension
    I was shocked when my trainer refused to do my ESR for me to meet with the panel deadline! No reason other than 'he is not in a rush' was his reason for not doing it
    I must mention that my trainer is also a panel member. He rushed other registrars who are not due to finish until 08/2014 through and did their ESR but refused to do mine
    I pleaded with him that I will not be able to process CCT on time and this will delay my ability to look for work for about 4 weeks or more but he said that does not concern him

    Now all my colleagues that we had extension together and pass their CSA have all been cleared for CCT except me

    I wrote a letter to the deanery raising my concerns about him 3weeks ago and It was not even acknowledged until I wrote another email requesting for one
    I am confused and I need advise. He has not spoken to me in the last 3weeks, I have about 20 log entries and he has not even botherered to read through any of them and these were entries made before 12/12/13

    I need advise on the way forward

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  • @0.07
    You are not alone. I was lucky as I had an exceptionally good trainer who believes this exam is biased and did not change a single word in ESR despite failure and was always proactive in finding ways to help me in the difficult time.
    Good thing in your case is bad time is over just keep smiling till you get cct and persevere. Thanks, sorry and I appreciate are magic words. Think of your csa consultation your agenda- SICK ES agenda and try negotiate.

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  • Una Coales

    @0:07 am I am sorry to hear you are having delays in getting an ESR. The next step after speaking with your trainer would be to speak to your programme director or associate director, then associate dean or dean. If you are a member of BMA, then speaking to an industrial officer who may intervene may be an option too as well as contacting the BMA GP trainee subcommittee.

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  • Una Coales

    @0:07 A member of the BMA GP trainee subcommittee advises 't appears that the relationship is broken for some reason. Log all conversation as professional conversation and try n make contact with APDs for your patch. It needs to be a balanced effort.' I would also add find out who the BMA GP trainee rep is for your patch to contact for help with APD contacts.

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  • @ Una Coales .
    the problem is that there is no standardization of supervision. They can do what ever they wish and the trainee is left to fight for their career and life.

    So frustrating to hear all these stories. most of them are IMGs.

    thanks for you support for IMGs.

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  • Thanks for all ur advise, the strange thing is that at the early stage when I noticed some some issues I felt cld work against me, I mentioned this to my trainer only to be told 'that he was not expecting me anyway' I mentioned this casually to the program.director not as a report but she replied that 'the response was ok since my trainer has been on holiday' I was sure the deanery would not have posted me there without carrying him along
    My colleagues now warned me that they all work together as GP tutors
    When it was becoming unbearable, I made effort to speak with the deanery but before I could get any response, I noticed that without any previous conversation I could accidentally meet him on the corridor and he will ask 'what report do u have today? Or 'who do u want to report today' in a sarcastic manner, I suspected he was privy to my attempt to speak with the deanery even before any form of response from the deanery
    I had to make a tactical withdrawal after discovering he is equally a panel member
    I will contact the BMA GP trainee rep and get advise as instructed
    Once again, thanks so much

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  • @10:24pm
    And this is how it works for an IMG/ethnic in UK. A daily, endless struggle till the day he/she retires. Cold mentality in a cold country.

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  • Its like a lottery , either you will get a responsible trainer or someone who has deep unresolved psychological issues of his own.
    BMA is as useless it took a whole year to realise that IMG's have a case

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