Thousands of junior doctors will be rendered jobless under the new recruitment process and it is the best qualified doctors are among the hardest hit.
The new system will undermine Britain's position as a leader in medical science. Non-urgent patient care in England could be hit by a shortage of medical staff for many months, said Morris Brown, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Cambridge University and a founder of the Fidelio Group of senior doctors. The group is trying to highlight the scale of the problem.
AdvertisementYesterday senior medical researchers who launched Fidelio, a campaign group to support junior doctors, said the reduced emphasis on medical research in the new selection criteria will has a disastrous impact on the future of medical research in Britain.
Some 45% have yet to receive posts through the controversial MTAS system. This is according to a small survey of 1,300 doctors by the newly formed Fidelio. And over 30% of those who have either a first class degree or a distinction have not received an offer.
Members warned that the future of the health service was in jeopardy as better doctors were being disregarded in the new system in favour of the lesser qualified.
Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, has apologised for the security breaches and other flaws that have led to the suspension of the online recruitment system called Medical Training Application Service.
The Medical Training Application Service, or MTAS, was introduced as part of the Modernising Medical Careers initiative aimed at cutting the number of years of training needed for doctors to reach consultant level.
It was intended to speed up the selection process, but doctors said the forms were badly worded, did not ask revelent questions or allow them to set out relevant qualifications and experience, and had no facility for attaching a CV.
This has resulted in many doctors not being selected for their first-choice NHS trusts, and a significant number not getting any interviews calls at all.
Now there are about 30,000 doctors chasing about 20,000 jobs.
Those who failed were being relegated to a career in the wilderness, with the prospect of becoming a specialist virtually out of the question.
Now the vacancies would be available again only after seven years. One doctor said that his qualification of a Phd had no value compared to a course in resuscitation.