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Influx of Foreign-trained Medics in UK

by Sheela Philomena on February 4, 2011 at 12:41 PM
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 Influx of Foreign-trained Medics in UK

The flow of foreign-trained medics in the United Kingdom can put patients' lives at risk because some may lack good English language skills, warns experts.

The warning comes after a survey by the General Medical Council found that only 37 percent of the 240,000-strong medical register declared themselves as white British.

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Separate figures revealed that over 88,000 of that number were trained abroad.

"It's a ridiculous situation. There are always issues with communication. You need to have confidence in the doctor. They need to understand you and you need to understand them," the Daily Express quoted Katherine Murphy, of the Patients' Association, as saying.
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"If a patient calls an out-of-hours doctor, they are grateful to see any doctor, but they know it won't be a British one," she added.

Tory MP Dr. Sarah Wollaston said that there was growing unease over the number allowed to work in the country without any checks.

"We have many safeguards against bad medical practice, but these seem not to adequately address the issue of doctors from the EU with poor English," Wollaston said.

"You can practise here from Australia and have to take a test, but from Poland no language test may be applied under EU regulations," she added.

The National Health Service (NHS) currently has over 25,000 doctors from India.

The publicly funded healthcare system also has doctors trained in 147 countries including Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and Haiti.

Source: ANI
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