The government announced on Radio 4 today 7th April 2016 that it would recruit 6000 (not 600!) (Belfast Telegraph says 400) GPs from India. Medical Schools in India produce 80% of their doctors privately, 20% are state funded. The only criterion for entry to private medical schools are to achieve grades (almost all do) and then to pay. Whilst the UK has had 11 applicants for every 2 places given, we complain of a shortage and 10 years later we will still have to put up with doctors with less than adequate language and cultural awareness. The whole point of GP training and its rigorous application process was to avoid poor standards and communication. There is a history of denial in GP recruitment: over 50 years: the result of a sustained collusion of denial.. Without political leadership and honesty it’s going to get worse, especially in the unpopular areas… Even the Kings Fund and Chris Ham has been in denial and ducked the longer term solutions.
Sarah Knapton reports in The telegraph 7th April 2016: NHS to recruit Indian doctors to plug gaps in GP services whilst Rosina Sini for BBC News explains the effect of morale: Junior doctors’ strike: ‘I am moving to Australia permanently’ . The Times offers: Indian doctors to plug gaps in overstretched surgeries. In Scotland there is ‘Worst in a generation’ crisis for GP services – One in four practices has at least one vacancy
20th February 2014: Denial by Mr Hunt: Describing GP recruitment as a ‘crisis’ could be worsening the problem, warns Health Minister
9th July 2014: Doctor’s warning over “perfect storm” GP recruitment crisis
At best these doctors will plug gaps in unpopular areas. The worst aspect is that they then block jobs for 600 British Doctors – in 10 years time. This perpetuates the unethical policy of enticing doctors from countries who need them. Is Mr Hunt planning to send them back after he provides adequate manpower capacity? Does he intend to attract 600 per annum?