The BMA is to further support a group of international doctors in their MRCGP judicial review by publishing details of their fundraising activities in its newsletter.
The move will see BMA stepping up the support for the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) in its judicial review against the GMC and the RCGP over the controversial MRCGP exam.
It comes as Pulse exclusively revealed last week that the BMA would aid BAPIO by gathering evidence to support the legal action, which concerns whether the low exam success rates of international medical graduates is a result of direct or indirect discrimination by the RCGP, and whether the college and the GMC failed in their equality duties.
The terms of support were agreed in a meeting between BMA chair Dr Mark Porter and BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta last week, after the BMA wrote to the RCGP earlier this month outlining its position on the issue.
Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, chair of the BMA’s GP trainee subcommittee, said: ‘By publishing fund-raising activities we can help ensure there is enough funds to see this through.’
The BMA’s explicit support followed the publication of a paper in the BMJ by Professor Aneez Esmail, a leading expert on racism in the NHS who was commissioned by the GMC to review the MRCGP, that concluded ‘subjective bias due to racial discrimination’ may be a cause of higher failure rates among IMGs and black and minority ethnic UK graduates.
However the college has consistently denied that the exam is in any way discriminatory or biased, and has cited Professor Esmail’s official report to the GMC on his findings – published on the same day as his BMJ study – which concluded ‘the method of assessment is not a reason for the differential outcomes that we have described’.