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Recruiting overseas doctors ‘essential’, BMA tells MPs

Overseas-trained doctors form an essential part of the UK’s medical workforce and ‘enhance the NHS’, the BMA advised MPs ahead of a debate on immigration held earlier this week in the House of Commons.

The debate came about through an e-petition calling for an end to all immigration in the UK.

In a parliamentary briefing, the BMA said international medical graduate (IMG) doctors ‘have become essential members of the UK’s medical workforce’ and that ‘the NHS is dependent on IMG doctors to provide a high-quality, reliable and safe service to patients’.

The briefing added that BMA did not support ‘unfettered migration’ of overseas doctors and recognised the ‘principle of reducing reliance on migrant workers and training and upskilling UK resident workers’.

However, ‘employers must have the capacity to recruit and retrain overseas doctors where other solutions to staffing have been unsuccessful and where a clear workforce need exists’, it said.

The debate came after shortly the Government announced nursing would be placed on the shortage occupation list, to make it easier to recruit nurses from outside the European Economic Area.

The RCGP wants general practice to be added to the list as well, to try to boost recruitment to the profession, but the Home Office confirmed to Pulse that the latest changes would not affect GPs.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Train your own and retain your own.Plenty of youngsters wanting to go into med school

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  • Do something about the exodus.

    Make it easier for GP's to return to the UK.

    "Never been a better time to be a GP"

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  • This is beyond ridiculous. We don't train enough doctors and a good proportion of the ones that we do emigrate so we import cheaper doctors to replace them. It would be much more sensible to either retain the doctors we train or entirely GIVE UP training doctors altogether and import foreign cheap ones like most manufactured goods. If we are going to start a phased withdrawal from doctor training (and this is the only logical response to our current predicament) then the medical schools who refuse to produce GPs should be closed down first and all those Deans and members of the Medical School council reallocated to something like agriculture where there may be a more pressing case for self sufficiency.

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  • A mix of both would be ideal. We all know what happens with inbreading. Look at the leftist cardigans and our lovely tories for example and the mess we're in.

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  • We need to keep our trained staff.Not introduce contracts for them to emigrate to Australia or Canada .

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  • A bit naive. Status shows uk was once the preferred place for doctors from India. Thks is no longer the case and migration to America is much higher now.

    I wonder why? May be the foreigners are not as stupid as RCGP/DoH thinks?

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  • Foreign doctors are cash cows.they are misused to fill the vacancies and then shown the door.
    I think indian doctors are getting paid well than their Uk counterparts.

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  • Look at NHS staffing history. NHS always relied on and existed because of doctors from Indian subcontinent. They were used and abused and not given proper recognition. Plum majority jobs went to either 'local' and / or white doctors regardless and as 3.03 pm says used &badly abused/ misused: Even GMC showed and still does contempt towards non white foreign doctors. Once that older generation started retiring and "local" doctors started their adventure ( they became economical migrants ) to Canada Australia and began the NHS slide in to melt down. What a surprise?????

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  • The NHS has mistreated over seas doctors, especially those from the Indian Subcontinent. Those guys are not stupid, word gets around quick. No-one will be in a rush to jump on this sinking ship. Why would you when you can have a better life and earn more in Oz, Canada and the US??

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