UK needs overseas doctors, but…

In today’s age and time becoming a doctor is not a very popular thing , at least not with the British people . The profession is very demanding , the nature of the job itself which is not alluring , its all about the long working hours which come with stressful situations . The money however is good .
Having said that , the country needs more doctors hence amid a growing shortage of General Practitioners (GPs), the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is looking to recruit more Indian doctors on Tier 2 visas to plug the gaps. According to a 2015 report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – a body that promotes policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world – Britain recruits more foreign doctors than any other major European country, with more than one-third of doctors born abroad.
Additionally, the OECD report found that the UK was also one of the largest exporters of doctors, with a rising number of healthcare workers heading abroad, to countries like Australia, to work.
Therefore the employment and training department of the NHS, Health Education England (HEE), has signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Indian-based, Apollo Hospital .Which implies that doctors in India have a bright chance to if they are looking forward to come to Britain the only condition they need to qualify is to pass the test which is difficult and not easy . HEE said that while the details of their agreement with Apollo Hospitals is yet to be finalised, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) – a national voluntary organisation established in 1996, initially set up to support doctors arriving from India to work in the NHS – said that it understood the NHS was planning to recruit ‘as many GPs as possible.’
While the news sounds good there is other side of the story as well . While the UK government has given HEE the task of increasing GP numbers by 5,000 by 2020, but the department has already failed to reach targets for GP training. Also whereas on one hand brining doctors from abroad on Tier 2 Visas is a good alternative but at the same time practically the rules regarding the tier 2 Visas remain strict and difficult . It would only be correct to say that because of the difficulties in meeting Tier 2 sponsorship licence requirements which employers need to adhere to and obtaining Tier 2 visas many employers have decided it is not worth the trouble applying for tier 2 visas.
It must also be acknowledged that the need and demand for doctors is high in Britain but its not an easy ride for these professionals .The chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, Doctor Maureen Baker, said: “Doctors won’t simply be ‘parachuted’ into the NHS. We welcome any expressions of interest from doctors outside of the EU wanting to work in the NHS – but they would first have to undergo GP specialty training, and pass our rigorous entrance assessment. They would also have to pass the GMC’s professional linguistic and assessments board test.”
Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Lord Hunt, said that it was crucial for doctors arriving in the UK from overseas to undergo strict testing prior to being allowed to practice in Britain.
The conclusion is that doctors are wanted but their entry is difficult , the middle path would be to relax the Tier 2 conditions and make it a smooth journey for professionals coming from abroad .

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