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Judicial review into claims of racial bias in MRCGP will begin in April

The judicial review into alleged racial bias in the MRCGP exam brought by an international doctors’ group will begin at the High Court on 8 April, Pulse has learnt.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, chair of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) which is taking the legal action, confirmed the review is scheduled for 8 April and will last for three days.

BAPIO is being represented by Karon Monaghan QC, a barrister specialising in equality and human rights law who previously advised the Government’s women and equality unit on the Discrimination Law Review which preceded the Equality Act 2010.

The judicial review will look at claims from BAPIO that the RCGP is ‘directly racially discriminating’ against some groups of candidates through the MRCGP exam, and whether the assessment should be declared unlawful.

The RCGP says the claims ‘have no merit’, and that there is no evidence that examiners mark people from ethnic minorities differently simply because of their ethnicity.

Dr Mehta said: ‘We have a QC – Karon Monaghan, who is one of the top barristers – who will represent our case. There will be no witnesses but we will provide a written statement.’

The legal case began back in February last year, after BAPIO failed to come to any agreement with the RCGP and the GMC about addressing high failure rates among international medical graduates in the clinical skills assessment (CSA) part of the exam.

Dr Krishna Kasareneni, chair of the GPC’s GP trainees subcommittee, confirmed to Pulse the BMA is in the process of gathering evidence in support of BAPIO’s case, as well as helping to fund the legal action.