UK terminates services of 123 Indian doctors


Foreign physicians in the UK will face a more rigorous assessment, after figures showed that the vast majority of doctors who have been struck off were trained abroad, especially in countries like India.

In the last five years, 669 doctors have been either struck off or suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Of those, only 249 were British (37 per cent) while 420 (63 per cent) were trained abroad whereas one-third of doctors on the register were trained abroad, and two-thirds in Britain, the Sunday Telegraph reported today.

Doctors trained overseas are five times more likely to be struck off than those trained in the UK, it said.

The country with the biggest single number of doctors who have been removed or suspended from the medical register, was India (123), followed by Nigeria and Egypt (33 each) and Pakistan (32), the paper, quoting data disclosed for the first time using UK's freedom of information laws.

The GMC said new reforms included an induction programme, better checks and a review of the present testing system.

"We absolutely acknowledge that when it comes to the serious end of the scale, those from overseas are more likely to appear, and we have set about a series of reforms to address this," chief executive of the GMC, Niall Dickson said.

A new induction programme for all arriving doctors is due to launch as a pilot scheme in early 2013. It will combine online training in British medical practices with a one-day course covering some of the key issues facing new arrivals.

There will also be a review of the Performance and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test for overseas doctors.

This is the system whereby doctors have to demonstrate their clinical skills and competence before they can join the medical register in the UK.

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