Overseas Doctors

Health written question – answered on 7th November 2001.

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Photo of Liam Fox Liam Fox Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what training overseas doctor applicants to the NHS will undergo before working on the wards.

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

holding answer 6 November 2001

Overseas doctors will be registered to practise medicine in the United Kingdom only if they have satisfied the General Medical Council that their language and clinical skills are of a sufficiently high standard to deal with patients safely.

All doctors have to compete for national health service posts at a level appropriate to their qualifications. There is an obligation for NHS employers to ensure that each doctor they take on (whether from Europe or from overseas) has the professional and communication skills necessary to carry out the duties of their specific post.

All non-UK doctors newly recruited to the NHS are entitled to attend an overseas doctors' induction course either before or shortly after starting in post. Courses are run by postgraduate deaneries at a variety of locations and are available throughout the year. During the course, doctors are familiarised with UK and NHS cultural and ethical issues, and taken through some of the more common NHS procedures. Individual trusts routinely run local induction courses covering issues specific to their area.

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