NHS to recruit 50 doctors from India through Skype to fill A & E vacancies

The NHS is recruiting 50 trainee doctors from India in a bid to fill shortages in A & E department. This desperate need has actually led to waiving of normal competency tests.

Around 150 candidates will be interviewed in New Delhi via Skype. Chosen candidates will begin a four year career in Britain. Health Education England targets to recruit 50 trainee doctors.

The recruitment drive comes amid increasing concern about the standards required for overseas doctors to work in the UK.
Health bosses insist the drastic measure, which will cost the NHS £3,120 per doctor in flights, visas, registration and access to training tools, is the only way to keep emergency wards safely staffed.

Image Credit: Andrew Spiers

Image Credit: Andrew Spiers

Last night, Britain’s most senior Accident and Emergency doctor said the plans were desperate – but were required to save the NHS from a spiralling crisis.

Some A&E training courses in Britain have been more than half empty with 135 vacancies across the board this year.

Interviews via Skype for the new programme are due to begin this week, followed by face-to-face interviews in New Delhi next month before successful candidates start work in the UK in August.

The programme is attempting to recruit junior doctors who have just finished medical school, and trainees who have had two years’ training since medical school, but have yet to complete specialist training.

Health Education England said it has also taken steps to increase the number of UK trainees entering specialist training, through a new “run through” programme which means medics can specialize earlier.

Sharanya Bharathwaj