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BAPIO will not appeal MRCGP judicial review decision

Exclusive The international doctors’ group who took the RCGP to court over its MRCGP exam has said it will not appeal the court’s ruling that the exam was lawful, Pulse has learnt.

However, the president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), Dr Ramesh Mehta, told Pulse that the organisation would be willing to challenge the RCGP ‘if no solution is found’ to the disparity in pass rates for non-white groups

Dr Mehta said he has spoken with RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker and there has been an agreement to meet to ‘find a way forward’.

The move comes after a High Court decision ruled the MRCGP exam was lawful, following a judicial review into the differences in failure rates between white and non-white medical graduates sitting the clinical skills assessment (CSA) – the role-playing test of GPs’ clinical and communication skills.

However, the judge presiding over the case said it was time for the RCGP to ‘eliminate discrimination’ in the MRCGP and address the disparity in pass rates for non-white groups.

Dr Mehta said: ‘If no solution is found we will challenge the college again. The judicial review confirmed it is a problem, and the college has accepted this.

‘The judge has instructed the college to find a solution for the differential pass rates. This is what BAPIO wanted. I’m hopeful we will be cooperating and collaborating with all stakeholders to find a solution to the differential pass rate.’

The RCGP was unavailable for comment, but Dr Baker has previously said: ‘We agree that further action is needed, and we are already working hard to find the best way of supporting the small number of trainees who fail to pass the CSA component of the MRCGP licensing exam, to give them every chance of passing the exam.’