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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)

  • I think the CSA exam is fair. If you are an international doctor, surely you are expected to communicate fluently if you are working in the uk. I cannot believe we are having this debate. Only in this country this would happen. I completed my CSA exam 2 years ago. I used to help international doctors prepare for their exam, I can't believe some of them were allowed to enter gp vts scheme!

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  • I agree. The problem is allowing these doctors to pass the initial gp vts entrance exam. Why fail them in the CSA after 3 years of spending all that money to train the doctors. It's absurd £20000 is being wasted on this. I think I'll be cancelling by bma membership!

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  • Surely these are IMG and shot them being IMG and not able to speak colloquial English, perhaps they would not been registered with GMC, however would British and English doctor would throw light on an IMG life who is working in area where some time whole list of patient are Eastern Europeans, Should he consult in Polsh, Czeck, Latvian or in English. Please think as these are people who are running NHS on ground.

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  • @3:37
    I am really sorry, however you are just expressing your opinion based on prejudice. Are you trying to say that all facts, figures, evidence is all 'rubbish' because you 'think so'.
    To be fair, you need to look at the evidence first before jumping to any conclusions!

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  • BMA has the every right to believe in and support the process .They represent doctors working in and for UK and not just those who are successful in exams. I am proud to be its member

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  • Societies turned a blind eye to segregation and apartheid. They are now rightly viewed as abhorrent. Despite an independent, expert review confirming the RCGP exam could be racist, the RCGP ignores the evidence and fails to reflect. I will certainly be cancelling my RCGP membership. I refuse to support the College further until it accepts the self-evident truth.

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  • As an IMG, I do not think there is any bias in the CSA. The exam is heavily based on communication (poor communication is the main reason for the most complaints by patients). It is understandable that the indigenous candidates (whether white or coloured who grew up in this country) will do better because they are used to the method and mode of communication in this country. The AKT is the real test of clinical knowledge.
    This challenge to RCGP is an attempt to water down the high standards of the nMRCGP. This lowering of standard will eventually bite us in the behind if we succumb to it and in a few years time we start churning out GPs who are unable to communicate effectively to their patients.

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  • RCGP is clearly shaken up.
    The question is - can they get away with it - which is quite possible as posh work for posh.

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