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#GPnews: GPs pledge to provide emergency care during junior doctor strikes

Top headlines

GMC to spare doctors with mental health problems from a full investigation

BMA: Indian GP scheme shows recruitment is ‘collapsing into chaos’

15:30 A number of GPs are pledging to support junior doctors when they take full strike action later this month. 

The full strike action will see junior doctors withdrawing emergency care  from 8am to 5pm on 26 & 27 April.

Dr Hamed Khan, who is standing for election to the BMA Council, tweeted:

While Dr Ben Molyneux, former chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctor Committee, posted this video:

12:05 Elsewhere, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has insisted that the ongoing dispute with the BMA on the imposition of a new junior doctor contract is ‘a matter which is now closed’.

The Guardian  reports that despite junior doctor strikes and legal action taken over the contract imposition, Mr Hunt has claimed he ‘will not back down.’

Mr Hunt added: ‘The matter is closed. We have been trying to discuss this now for three years, and I think the wrong thing to do in the face of unreasonable behaviour is to say, ‘Well, in that case, we’re going to back down.’ 

11:00 Professor Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, has claimed that Pulse’s story on Health Education England recruiting GPs from India is ‘grossly misleading’.

She says that GPs trained in Apollo Hospitals – which has signed an agreement with HEE – are not eligible to work in the UK, and that Apollo does not offer MRCGP (International) exams, only a diploma that has been accredited by the RCGP.

However, Pulse editor Nigel Praities pointed out that the MRCGP (International) qualification does not qualify an overseas GP to practise in the UK, but there are several routes that the GMC will accept, one of which includes sponsorship.

Pulse’s story said that HEE and Apollo are in discussions about how they can recruit GPs to the UK from India. There is no suggestion whatsoever that the diploma is enough to qualify them to work in the UK immediately.

Professor Baker later said ‘as far as I know’ HEE was not discussing this ‘at all’.

9:30 Pulse’s story on Indian GPs has been picked up by all the nationals, only knocked off the front pages by David Cameron’s tax affairs (although it did make the ’i’ front page).

The Mail warns this is a ‘desperate’ bid to plug staffing crisis, the Guardian, Telegraph, the Times, the Sun and the Independent go with more sober headlines. The Express uses several capitals to proclaim ’DOCTORS CRISIS: NHS safety fears as HUNDREDS of GPs to be hired from India’

But the most interesting headline was no doubt in the Daily Star, which proclaims theGovernment is looking to bring in 5,000 GPs from India. (That’s news to us).