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DH wants to make it easier to recruit overseas GPs

The Department of Health wants GPs to be listed as a shortage occupation to make it easier to recruit GPs from abroad, a report released today has revealed.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) decided in February not to add GPs to the list of occupations which lowers the bar for immigration to the UK from overseas, and its annual report makes clear that it took this decision despite the DH having asked for the profession to be added.

The report says: ’The evidence on behalf of the Department of Health asked that GPs be added to the shortage list but the MAC did not see any evidence suggesting that there is a shortage of medical students who could continue into general practice.’

The MAC has said it wants to await the outcome of the Government’s plans for boosting GP recruitment before potentially adding GPs to the list.

The BMA told MPs last month that recruiting overseas GPs is ‘essential’.

It comes as the Home Office has temporarily added nurses to the list while asking the MAC to review whether they should be added long term.


Readers' comments (11)

  • I worked with eastern European GPs before. They were newly qualified docs that worked in A&E for a year or two where they were from. They were given a two hour test and 6 weeks supervision in the UK before they were added to the performers list and the GP register. This will not end well. The Tories will flood the market with pseudo-GPs and who will pick up the pieces?

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  • Can't imagine why the need for imported cheap labour has suddenly popped into Jezza's inbox, can you?

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  • So why the hell has it taken an entire YEAR for me to be allowed to return to UK GP (after 3 years working in Germany; MRCGP 2005; passed both Returner exams at first sitting at band 4; 3 months retraining). There were no delays on my part - this is the NEW returners scheme. Bloody ridiculous (and financially punitive).

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  • The real reason is that United Health and Boots have told Jeremy they are only going to employ cheap east european GPs, they are not going to take on the redundant British GPs who want higher pay. Jeremy is preparing the ground for United Health. And that Ben is why it takes so long for you to re register, Jeremy is not interested in higher cost British doctors.

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  • cheap GPs that'll work for £20k a year 10 sessions a week no doubt. Look at what happens to antibiotic resistances with an influx of foreign GPs.

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  • there's a reason why when I leave for AU/NZ in 2 years that I'll never come back to the UK. The returner scheme is just one of them. I will go to almost any other country on the planet first before returning.

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  • 'general practice' is so different from one country to another. I wonder what you need to be registered as a GP across europe. I know it isn't representative but a bulgarian working as a Gynae registrar told me he could register as a consultant in Bulgaria and then return immediately and register as a UK consultant. This was despite not being able to get a training number in the UK.
    Is this possible for general practice? I wonder if pulse would let us know.

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  • Farah Jameel

    This does not apply to Eastern European GP's I don't think, as they don't tend to face visa related hurdles, predominantly hailing from the EU.

    This is to recruit Drs from South Asian countries and other such countries where visa restrictions has made it challenging to come over. It will be interesting to see if they choose to employ a MTI like approach, as has been done in the past for other shortage specialities. To provide a temporary workforce that helps plug a hole in the system.

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  • Don't worry Jezza you will not need to recruit from abroad because the UK will soon be awash with medical students wanting to become GP and you will easily surpass your 5000 GP target by 2020 as the profession has been made so attractive under your stewardship

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  • Change the regulations to enter the performers list.Make things easier for doctors rather than harder and you will not have problems to recruit good GPs.

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