The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent regulator of all medical doctors practising in the United Kingdom which sets and enforces the standards all doctors must adhere to. The GMC is responsible for operational matters, including investigating complaints received about medical professionals and the administration of the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) tests.
The GMC has advised that the percentage of non-UK qualified doctors obtaining registration using the PLAB pathway was 42% in 2019; 40% in 2020; and 40% in 2021. The information on the number of overseas medical professionals is not held in the format requested. However, the attached table shows the number of failed sittings of part one and part two of the PLAB test by medical professionals from overseas in each of the last five years, by country of where the primary medical qualification was obtained.
As of 20 May 2022, there are 10,741 doctors with a current booking to sit the PLAB1 and 7,831 doctors with a PLAB2 exam place.
The GMC has advised that the information on the number of complaints resolved within six months is not available in the format requested. The GMC's internal target is for complaints to be resolved within 12 months. Of the complaints the GMC received in 2018 which did not meet the GMC’s internal 12-month closure target, 370 or 4.3% related to doctors with a non-UK primary medical qualification. Of complaints received in 2019, this was 460 or 5.2% and 354 or 4.2% in 2020. This includes all potential outcomes of a complaint – from closure at triage if the complaint did not meet the threshold for investigation, to full investigation with an outcome at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing.
TABLE (xlsx, 27.5KB)