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A faulty production line

BMA: Indian GP scheme shows recruitment is ‘collapsing into chaos’

Pulse’s revelation that the Government is looking to bring GPs to England from India is an ‘admission of failure’ in its own recruitment policies, the BMA has said.

Pulse today revealed that Health Education England has been working with Apollo Hospital group in India to look at ways of bringing hundreds of Indian GPs to the UK.

The BMA has said that the story demonstrates that the pledge to recruit 5,000 extra GPs by 2020 is ‘collapsing into chaos’.

The RCGP has said it ‘welcomes non-EU trained doctors’, but claimed that suggestions GPs would be ‘parachuted in’ were ‘misleading’.

HEE has said that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Apollo Hospitals, and the details are being finalised.

Pulse understands that the two parties are in discussion around potentially bringing hundreds of GPs to England.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Doctors from overseas have always provided a valuable contribution to this country’s health system, especially as they undergo a rigorous assessment process to ensure they have the right skills for the NHS.

‘However, it is clearly an admission of failure that the government seems to have launched a new recruitment scheme overseas to plug what is clearly a widening gap in the number of homegrown GPs in our workforce.’

He added that ministers need to launch an urgent support package for general practice.

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘The Government’s pledge to recruit 5,000 extra GPs by 2020 is clearly collapsing into chaos.’

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, said: ‘We welcome any expressions of interest from doctors outside of the EU wanting to work in the NHS - but they would first have to undergo GP specialty training, and pass our rigorous entrance assessment.

‘They would also have to pass the GMC’s Professional Linguistic and Assessments Board test.’

‘Any suggestions that they will simply be ‘parachuted in’ to practise in the UK is grossly misleading.’

But the GMC itself says on its website that doctors will not have to pass the PLAB if they have ‘a sponsorship under an arrangement approved by us; an approved postgraduate qualification; eligibility to enter the GP or specialist register’.

How the Government’s target has been diluted

Jeremy Hunt - online

Jeremy Hunt - online

Source: Alamy

The DH now claims that the target of 5,000 extra GPs by 2020 will also include doctors in training, effectively giving it three more years to boost numbers.

But this was not health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s original pledge to the Conservative Party conference in 2014. His words were: ‘Tory conference, I can today confirm plans to train and retain an extra 5,000 GPs.’

And this was the rhetoric leading up to general election, with the DH saying it was committed to bringing ‘5,000 more GPs’ into the system by 2020.

But this rhetoric changed when Mr Hunt announced his ‘new deal’ in June 2015. The health secretary also said in the subsequent Q&A session that there would be ‘flexibility [in the target] because in some parts of the country it is very hard to recruit GPs’.

Readers' comments (18)

  • It's because somebody thinks the Indian Doctors will do the same job for less money .

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  • Vinci Ho

    Ha ha ha
    Try to turn the clock back to the time (even before I started) when a lot of Indian colleagues came , the professional migrants. HEE really thinks repeating the same old trick will be remedial. That was then , this is now . We are under a different economic atmosphere and information travels in light-speed on Internet .
    At the end , it is still about treating people with respect . In a way , I think this is so disrespectful to these Indian colleagues and consider them as a quick fix , second class replacement by the government , simply because it has been treating home GPs, young and old , like sh*t . People are persons: treat persons as ends , not manipulate them as means .........Agent Hunt , you b*****d

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  • As an Indian IMG, a GP and a have grandparents who have trained and worked in UK, I can say that things have changed a lot since the rivers of blood speech!
    The difference in pay has narrowed down significantly. The fragmentation of NHS has resulted in more of GP`s job to be navigating the local politics/pathways rather than medicine alone. Also many will see this as a step to Canada, Australia, NZ if brought in on time limited Tier 2 VISA and hence the training would have to be repeated frequently for new cohorts. Also if local conditions are hostile- i.e. multiple jeopardy people will leave quickly as HEE have found out to their detriment.

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  • To any Indian doctors reading this and thinking about coming to the UK, my message to you is clear and simple........DONT;

    For over 50 years you have helped prop up this failing system and have been treated as an underclass, sent out to the nether regions of the uk where even the natives dont want to venture, been given sub specialist roles such as "associate specialist", "staff grade/ trust grade" etc. You're far less likley to pass the "college exams" than your non IMG peers and there has never been a clear reason given for why you are far more likely to be referred for fitness to practice panels carried out by the wonderfully fair and transparent GMC.
    To date there are still many many issues including the now infamous CSA exam and differntial pass rates between groups like yourself who were not born , bred and trained in the uk and those who have been raised and trained here with a different skin colour and accent to yourself. it may be the twenty first century but Britain still believes its the 19th century and that it is still an empire and the sole power on the world stage. its isnt, and the British still haven't cottoned onto the fact that the world has moved on without them.

    Dont waste your time here; sit the USMLEs and head to the USA where your community thrives....look at how many indian CEOs there are there (CEO'S in microsoft, google, pepsi etc) not to mention the worlds best universities like Harvard have an indian dean. Your people are ahead in places like north america because the system there rewards hard work and talent.

    Learn from the trauma and experiences of your countrymen here and dont make the same mistakes by thinking its different now. the UK is tired old and washed up..........

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  • Totally agree with 6.26.

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  • A quick solution to try and help the recruitment crisis - allow the GP trainees that passed every other assessment and failed the CSA by a few marks to practice as GPs.

    How are these doctors judged to be unsafe and yet the vast majority of GPs have never undertaken the CSA and allowed to work as GPs.

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  • Further evidence of the abject failure of the insanely arrogant imbecile runt

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Dear Colleagues from India,

    Don't touch this with a bare pole. The GMC is already rubbing its grubby hands in delight.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Took Early Retirement

    Er.. "BARGE pole". Sorry.

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  • It is a simple pragmatic solution based on market forces.This government and by extension UK society as a whole no longer value us the way we think we should be valued. The old tailor made hand crafted approach of British General Practice is slowly dissolving in front of us. These forces are inexorable and will eventually reach the sunnier shores you reach out for. Medicine like photography and barrel making is changing in response to deprofessionalisation, technology and hard economic truths.

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