Thursday, June 3, 2010

UK to recruit Indian doctors

London: More than 100 Indian doctors are likely to be offered jobs in the UK, as authorities have resumed recruitment to plug a looming shortage of medical professionals at junior level. The move comes despite the new British government’s announcement to impose a ceiling on work permits to people outside the European Union that was likely to impact Indians the most.

According to BBC, the UK health officials last week held interviews in Kolkata to recruit doctors by August. Stringent immigration rules in recent years have forced many foreign doctors to leave Britain. The British home office had so far thwarted the department of health’s efforts to maintain a balance.
Dr Firdaus Adenwalla, associated with recruiting doctors, said he had seen a marked decline in the number of applicants since the immigration rules were tightened in 2006.
“We pulled the plug on overseas recruitment far too quickly. We didn’t realise what the implications of that action would be two, three or four years down the line”, Prof Derek Gallen, postgraduate dean of medical training in Wales, was quoted as saying.
British medical graduates’ reluctance to work outside big metropolitan areas and departments such as obstetrics & gynaecology, anaesthetics, paediatrics and accident & emergency have necessitated the recruitments. Besides, vacancies have also risen because of female medics going on maternity leave. Moreover, an EU directive debars UK doctors from working more than 48 hours per week, which has added to gaps in rotas. In some hospitals crucial services have been curtailed and Britain’s National Health Service, which provides free health care and has for over 60 years been the country’s pride and joy, is short-staffed across the country. This problem is particularly acute in Wales, Northern Ireland, West Midlands and the Severn region in the Southwest.
Dr Lopamudra Nath Chaudhary, one of Kolkata doctors to be offered a post, said, “I’ve worked in the UK and have seen how good the training programmes are for the junior doctors. My first choice was always to go to the UK”. The stumbling block was that the home office had restricted a doctor’s stay in the UK to two years.

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