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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.