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Foreign doctors face training ban in UK

Under a new plan to be unveiled soon, overseas docs in the UK will no longer be able to have their specialist training funded by the Govt, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Feb 04, 2008 03:10 IST
Vijay Dutt

Indian and other overseas doctors working in the United Kingdom will no longer be able to have their specialist medical training funded by the government under a new plan to be unveiled soon.

A ministerial group is preparing a move to impose the ban on training posts on all foreign doctors from outside the European Union in a bid to prevent thousands of British medics from facing unemployment, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

<b1>Foreign doctors from outside the European Union, who account for half of all applicants for jobs this year, are apprehending a ban on their specialist medical training that is paid by tax payers.

It has been known that the British government and British doctors have been very upset after the High Court struck the Department of Health’s (DoH) guidance issued last year that foreign doctors could only be considered for a training post if there was no suitable candidate from Britain or the EU. But this was successfully challenged in court by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), that claimed it was unfairly discriminatory.

A DoH spokesman, to calm fears among foreign doctors already in the country said, “Any changes to the rules will only affect people applying in the future, not those already here.”

In an exclusive talk with HT, Dr Ramesh Mehta, President of BAPIO, expressed surprise at the report of the proposed ban. “BAPIO has no information of all this. It seems the government has decided not to learn any lessons from the regulations they brought in March 2006. The government has been in deep trouble because there were no consultations before those regulations were brought in.

“They lost the case in the High Court and are likely to lose their appeal in the House of Lords.”

“In the best interest of the National Health Service (NHS). NHS should select the candidates on the basis of merit rather than on the basis of their nationality,” said Dr Mehta.