Self Sufficiency is a dream Mr Hunt. Rationing of Med Students means it will take over 15 years – starting now

Mr Hunt could show he means business if he wants self sufficiency in UK Doctors. He could appoint to be trained all the 770 3 “A” grade rejected applicants….Self Sufficiency is a dream Mr Hunt. The historic Rationing of Med Students means it will take over 15 years – starting now – to correct the shortfall. If doctors trained abroad are a problem for complaints, they are the main reason that the service is not “crashing” out now. By the way, I did not get 3 As and neither did many excellent doctors… If there are still 11:2 applications for places there may be many more capable people being rejected.

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Chris Smyth reports in The Times 10th April: Doctors who trained abroad ‘far more likely to be incompetent’

Doctors who trained in Bangladesh are 13 times more likely to face competence investigations than those who qualified in Britain, analysis of official figures has found.

Doctors from every other country except South Africa were more likely to be investigated than those from Britain, researchers from University College London concluded. Those trained in Egypt and Nigeria were the next most likely to be investigated.

Poor training, language barriers and cultural problems could all explain the problem and patients could be prejudiced against foreign staff. Age and gender could also play a role.

A quarter of NHS doctors are from overseas and the health service is reliant on foreign staff, but uncertainty surrounds their place as Britain leaves the EU. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary said that he wanted to make the NHS “self-sufficient” by 2025. Researchers have analysed almost two decades of data on doctors who were required to take a competence assessment by the General Medical Council because of concerns about their performance.

“It’s certainly a very big effect. We can say with confidence that foreign trained doctors are more likely to get into this procedure,” said Henry Potts, one of the authors of a paper published in BMC Medical Education.

“Where there’s enough data everywhere was higher than the UK except South Africa which was no different. Not a single doctor from Hong Kong has come through this process so it could be that they are less likely to, but the numbers aren’t really big enough.”

Doctors trained elsewhere in the EU were about five times more likely to be investigated than those from Britain.

Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians and senior author of the paper, said that the numbers were small but that the NHS must not be “complacent” about the findings. “Factors around staff induction, training and prior assessment before entering the UK are clearly an area we need to address,” she said.

Dr Potts said: “There is a possibility about the sort of training people are getting in different countries . . . Another angle is where are these people going wrong? Is it raw medical competence? Or is it language? Or is it about understanding the culture?”

Dr Potts said that it could be that poor British doctors simply got away with it.

Few doctors face investigation and only 23 from Bangladesh are going through the process out of about 900 in the NHS. Dr Potts said: “I would say to patients that the vast majority of all doctors wherever they trained are highly skilled and competent.”

He said that it was important “to get to the bottom of what the problems are here. If a poor doctor makes a mistake it could have life-changing consequences for patients. So we do need to make sure that’s not happening and that all doctors are competent.”

Susan Goldsmith, of the GMC, said that its move to a test for all doctors wanting to work in Britain would help.

A world of difference
The likelihood of doctors who qualified abroad being investigated by the GMC, compared with doctors who qualified in Britain:
13 times more likely
Egypt 8 times
Nigeria 8 times
Iraq 7 times
Germany 6 times
India 5 times
Eastern Europe 4 times
Greece 3 times
Ireland 2 times
Rest of the world 2 times
Source: GMC/BMC Medical Education

Medical Schools: your chances – applications-to-acceptance ratio was 11.2.



This entry was posted in A Personal View, Medical Education, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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