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RCGP requested £288k for costs towards judicial review case

The RCGP requested an international doctors’ group pay £288,000 towards legal costs incurred as a result of the judicial review into the college’s membership exam.

The GMC – which also had to face the judicial review – requested around £75,000 to £100,000 towards legal costs.

However, Mr Justice Mitting ordered the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin to pay £50,000 of the costs incurred by the two organisations, after finding that the MRCGP exam was lawful.

BAPIO’s own costs came to around £175,000 – for which the BMA donated £20,000 – as well as £5,000 in legal fees, it was revealed in court.

The judge found that the exam was lawful, but said the ‘time has come’ for the RCGP to take action on the huge differences between UK and international medical graduates taking the exam.

He said that BAPIO had won a ‘moral victory, if not a legal one’ in his summing up last week.

In light of his comments, he ordered BAPIO to pay £50,000 in costs, despite the college and GMC calling on the international doctors’ organisation to pay greater costs.

A spokesperson for the RCGP said: ‘Matters in relation to the costs of the hearing are not yet finalised, and we are not able to comment further on them at this time.’

This comes as the BMA said that there was a ‘long way’ to go to resolve the causes of the differences in pass rates.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, chair of the GPC GP trainees subcommittee, said: ‘The best way to resolve these significant variations in pass rates is for all parties to now work together. Despite the ruling from the high courts, it is regrettable that we still have a long way to go to resolving the underlying causes for the disparity between the results for GP trainees from different backgrounds.’

‘While the ruling has dismissed claims of discrimination, the judge made it clear that the CSA does put certain groups at a disadvantage. This is what needs to be looked at immediately.  These trainees need to be identified at a very early stage and should be provided extra support and training.’

The RCGP said: ‘During the recent Judicial Review proceedings, Judge Mitting made it made it clear that GP training was the main area where action needed to be taken in order to address differential pass rates in the CSA.

‘He understood that GP training is not a function of the RCGP as determined by the College Charter, and that it is a function of the deaneries/LETBs.

‘Judge Mitting made it clear that the RCGP needs to co-operate with deaneries/LETBs to encourage them to address underperformance in Asian/black minority ethnic candidates in the CSA.

‘The RCGP welcomes any suggestions from BAPIO, BIDA and Professor Esmail that will help us to address this agenda.’