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Call to Control Foreign Doctors

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According to the General Medical Council (GMC), around 12,000 new doctors begin working each year for the NHS – be it in full-time, part-time or locum positions.  Following the publication of a new report, it’s now feared that some of these individuals, which include new doctors entering clinical practice for the first time, as well as thousands of foreign doctors, might not be fully prepared to begin treating patients un-supervised.

After some tragic events over the previous years, where foreign doctors providing out-of-hours services for the NHS made fatal mistakes treating patients, the government ordered an in-depth review into the situation.  This resulted in calling for regulated inductions for all doctors who had never worked for the NHS before, or who were new to providing out-of-hours cover.

The study has found that there is currently no official induction programme to give foreign and new doctors clear guidelines of both the professional and ethical standards that are expected of those who practice under the NHS in the UK.  While there are some good local schemes, the GMC is calling for a national protocol to address this issue.  This would then prevent the current situation where it is evident that doctors new to this country are allowed to treat patients with little or no training.

The GMC therefore is working towards developing a basic induction programme that all new doctors will have to follow before being allowed to enter clinical practice in this country.

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