New scheme for Indian doctors in UK to plug shortages
LONDON: The UK has launched a new placement scheme to bring in doctors from India to plug shortages in the emergency departments of its state-funded National Health Service.
The first set of 20 Indian doctors will be brought in to Manchester in northern England this year to help out in the region's eight Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.
Their placement is expected to run for up to three years, with the scheme also likely to be extended to other regions of the country.
It is being operated by the Greater Manchester devolution team and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust and backed by the Health Education England (HEE), the Department of Health body in charge of education and training.
"HEE, through its Global Health Exchange, is pleased to be helping to support the training and development of overseas doctors by placing them in clinical educational programmes in hospitals in the UK," said Ged Byrne, Director of Education and Quality at HEE - North West. "This work is helping to increase the number of doctors who are available to support acutely ill patients. The relationship benefits both the UK as it helps to fill an immediate need and the doctors themselves who gain access to high quality training and a unique skills set," he said.
The doctors who will have access to the scheme include those who have completed their basic training but are still learning specialist skills and are yet to qualify as a consultant.
After a three-year period, they are expected to return to Indian hospitals.
Dr Ramesh Mehta, president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), the UK's largest representative body for Indian-origin doctors, believes it is a win-win situation for both sides.
"Emergency medicine is at a nascent stage in India and under this win-win situation, the National Health Service (NHS) gets qualified doctors to meet shortages and the Indian doctors get mentoring and training in the UK," he said.