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Unemployed UK docs to be offered voluntary work overseas

world Updated: Apr 21, 2007 21:35 IST

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While immigrant doctors face an uncertain future in the UK, health authorities have drawn up a plan to offer voluntary work overseas to about 10,000 young British and European medics who are unable to find jobs in the National Health Service (NHS).

According to official documents leaked to media, the plan by NHS Employers was drawn up following the botched introduction of an online appointment system, which could leave thousands of junior doctors without training places this summer.

Doctors complained the system caused computers to crash, that non-medics were involved in shortlisting candidates and there was no facility on the form to attach CVs.

The document, Maximising Employment Opportunities, confirmed that there was a 10,000 "excess of applicants for training posts over places", The Daily Telegraph reported.

The document said priority would be given to finding places for UK graduates and those from Europe.

The British Medical Association estimated that 34,250 doctors applied for just 18,500 training posts in the UK.

In the memo leaked on the website Doctors.Net, Sian Thomas, deputy director of NHS Employers, said the shortfall was only 10,000 and many of the applicants were not British or EU graduates working in the NHS.