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Indian doctors must not come to UK

Doctors should have work permits for doing PG training, writes Vijay Dutt.

health and fitness Updated: Jun 07, 2012 17:23 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt

"Doctors from India must not come to London nor should they waste £600 on Plab examinations," is the advise of Dr Shiv Pande, the only Asian to have ever held an executive post in the British General Medical Council.

Pande, who had campaigned for the Plab exams to be held in India and was happy when they started, said even those who wish to appear for the MRCP and FRCS first year tests in India should not. "After passing the initial hurdle they have to come here for training before they can appear for the finals. But they won't get any training opportunity and all their efforts and money would go waste," he said.

With new rules coming into force by July 2006, any doctor wishing to apply for postgraduate medical training in the UK will be required to have a work permit. The permits would not be easy to get. To obtain a work permit an employer must show that a vacancy exists which cannot be filled with a resident worker.

In the case of overseas doctors, European Union nationals will get preference.

"Even (Indian) GPs who have listed for training for consultancy jobs are now in difficulty. They would be passed over by EU doctors," Pande said.

This makes it almost impossible for new doctors from India, and even the more than 800 who are already here hoping to get a training assignment, to work here. "They will have to pack up and go once their visa expires," said Pande.

A diplomat said such moves would only affect Indo-British relations. "India might be the most important and crucial member in the Commonwealth, the jewel in its crown, but Indian nationals would find it increasingly difficult to get even training, forget about a job in the UK," he added.

At present, 117,036 overseas doctors are working in the National Health Service. Of these, 16,000 are of Indian origin.

First Published: Apr 06, 2006 01:27 IST