The NHS Needs More British Doctors, Senior Surgeon Warns

Hayley Dixon, Telegraph (London), August 14, 2013

Patients are being put at risk as 40 per cent of doctors taken on by the NHS each year are foreign, a senior surgeon has warned.

Calling for more British doctors to be employed, Professor J Meirion Thomas pointed out that professionals drafted in from abroad often have language difficulties, are not as well trained, and know little of our culture.

He made the criticism during an attack on Jeremy Hunt’s plans to save the NHS, which he claims are seriously flawed.

Instead of updating computers and bringing back out-of date family doctors, the Health Secretary needs to change the role of GPs and introduce senior nurses into local surgeries to relieve the pressure on A&E departments, the senior cancer surgeon suggests.

But an “urgent problem” the Health Secretary needs to address is that “we need more British doctors”, Professor Thomas said.

“Most readers will be surprised to learn that every year, we import 40 per cent of our doctors because of insufficient training places in British medical schools,” he wrote in the Spectator.

“Most applicants to UK medical schools are rejected despite having the required A-level grades. We encourage young people to become doctors, then we slap them back for want of places.”

The GMC registers 13,000 doctors a year, 6,000 or whom come from foreign countries and start work with “little or no knowledge and experience of British culture or of our health service—and this in the most people-centric occupation of all. It really does matter,” he said.

Professor Thomas, a consultant surgeon at the Royal Marsden hospital in London, also claimed that A&E departments were at “breaking point” because “old-fashioned” GPs were “not good enough”.

He blames the Government for the lack of British doctors, saying they are unwilling to pay thousands to train them and therefore leaving the positions open to foreign doctors who see working for the NHS as a “bonanza”.

“European doctors fly in to cover locum vacancies, especially in general practice,” he wrote.

“There is no test of language proficiency before registering. As a result of austerity in southern Europe, there has been a significant increase in GMC registrations of newly-qualified doctors from Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and especially eastern Europe. “

A GMC survey found that foreign-trained doctors are up to four times more likely to be suspended or struck off than their UK colleagues.

“Here’s a thought for Mr Hunt and Mr Cameron: ditch the useless IT scheme and spend the billions you save on training more British doctors,” he wrote.

“Yes, I know you may not see results before the next general election—or indeed the one after that. But you’re in it for the good of the country, yes? And this is an essential building block of a durable recovery for the NHS.”

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  • Spartacus

    “Most applicants to UK medical schools are rejected despite having the
    required A-level grades. We encourage young people to become doctors,
    then we slap them back for want of places.”


    Make no mistake, this is by design, to find yet another way to bring in more foreigners, particularly non-whites .

    • David Ashton

      The exclusion of potential white British doctors and surgeons is the most disgraceful aspect of what has now become too obviously a racket.

  • This is the future of American health care under ObamaCare, or even if ObamaCare was never passed. Even at better American hospitals and clinics, new physicians are predominately Asian/Indian. Are we to think that native born white people don’t want to be doctors anymore?

    • Archibald_Cunningham

      At the hospital I work at, in Iowa of all states, over 70% of the doctors are Indian, while about 90% of the patients are white. A senior administrator told me in confidence one time that the hospital heavily recruits white doctors, especially in primary care, because most patients secretly don’t want to have Dr. Nahasapimachagarajpetalon as their doctor.

      • Romulus

        There are dots in Iowa??????!!!!! (sarc) How depressing. I enjoyed the interactive map, however. I can use it as a reference of what areas to avoid.

      • OlderWoman

        I had a procedure done at a local hospital in August. I had a doctor with an Indian name. I asked if he is a Muslim. The nurse verified he was. I told her if I had known about it I would have asked for a different doctor. She defended him by saying he was born and raised in my town. She doesn’t realize that local mosques raise money for the violent Muslims in other countries. And that they support terrorism in the U.S. Next time I’ll insist on another doctor.

    • Fredrik_H

      Here in Sweden many of them are muslims, and 90% of them are absolutely terrible. Terrible to the point where you wonder if they are phonies with bought credentials.

    • stig781

      The future? American health care has been worse than British health care for…when was it ever better?

  • willbest

    I don’t know why anybody would want to be a doctor. The whole system is designed for you to eat a regulatory tempest while the Hospitals and Pharmacutical companies pocket the lion share of the profits. A smart engineer will out earn a doctor for the first 20 years. That is too long of a time scale to attract people that can see the unsustainable rotting institutions.

  • sbuffalonative

    Why is this happening in the UK and the US? Do white males no longer aspire to be doctors? How did this ‘health crisis’ begin?

    This ‘crisis’ was either manufactured or the result of stupidity.

    • IstvanIN

      They are discriminated against in admissions.

    • Archibald_Cunningham

      We allow thousands of doctors to come here every year from the turd world, while at the same time most medical schools here have about 6-7,000 applicants for 150 or so admission places. Plus whites have to compete with blacks and hispanics who are granted admission with much lesser qualifications.

    • KenelmDigby

      In the UK, places in medical school are heavily rationed. This is due to the fact that all UK medical schools are entirely government funded and controlled. Over the years, the UK givernment has been periodically short of money. Meedical school places are expensive, and therefore are an easy target to cut, whilst it is cheap to import Indians. This is a danger of ‘socialized medicine’.
      Many good candidates would be willing to pay out of their own resources the big fees demanded by private medical schools. But the UK expressly forbids the establishment of private medical schools.

      • sbuffalonative

        Years ago, we had a flood of foreign doctors into the US. We were told they came here to study medicine and they would leave to practice medicine in their homeland. It became obvious to everyone they weren’t leaving. Even my father commented on it without being prompted on the topic.

        Also, in the last few years, I have had to go to a local Catholic hospital for various reason. I have been stunned to see the place inundated with Muslim women working there. This is a Catholic hospital.

        There is no other explanation than we are being replace.

  • borogirl54

    Personally, I think that most British doctors would not want to practice in Britain because their reimbursements under the National Health System are so low and taxes are so high that they could not make a living. They usually immigrate to the US or other countries where they can make a nice living.

    • KenelmDigby

      Not true. Doctors in UK NHS are very well paid.

  • joesolargenius

    The advice I am now giving you is from first hand experience , Don’t under any circumstances allow a Non White Doctor to treat you for any reason . Always insist on a White Male Doctor as they are not only better but are constantly watched by their jealous Non White Colleagues for mistakes whom will then eagerly snitch on them.
    They are going through the same thing we in other jobs are ,it is just more subtle .

  • Tinfoil A22hat

    This is such a cynical yet genius way of thinning us out, legally, right under our noses. This is the main purpose of Obamacare over here. I’m shocked this surgeon’s opinion got published. Must have been a mistake.

  • IKantunderstand

    Well, let’s see. Obama wants to lob off one year of law school. That would be a reduction of one third. Perhaps Obama will decide to lob off one third of medical school as well. And, with AA and illegal immigrants made legal, I absolutely don’t see a problem for medical care in the U.S in the future. After all, anyone can be whatever they want to be! A mantra we can all live with. So, when do we get to go to Mars? Or, you know, “change” things?

    • kenfrombayside

      Keep the pressure on your reps in congress. Giving 11 – 30 million (nobody knows for sure) criminal lawbreakers legalization pure insanity. Plus, they could sponsor their relatives; that would bring the total up to about 50 million aliens in our midst. Of course, these new citizens will vote for the vile democrats and their socialist giveaways. Most of them will be unskilled, uneducated, low IQ etc. Stop this outrageous bill now. Don’t sit on the sidelines.You are not wasting your time. The American people don’t want this bill. You have to do all you can do to stem the third world assault:
      – Contact your 2 US Senators and rep in congress.
      – after biz hours, leave a message on your DC rep’s voicemail. All US Senators have multiple offices so it would be a good idea to hit all of the. Remember, be civil and don’t threaten
      – go to NUMBERSUSA then go to the take action button. You will be able to send faxes to your 2 US Senators and congressional for free. (I also gave a $50 donation).
      – use Business Reply envelopes to state your opposition to America’s insane immigration policies and the proposed amnesty. Don’t give the parties any money.
      – join an immigration group like FAIR. Strength thru numbers!
      – go to the RNC & DNC sites to email them.
      – Use the media: call a talk radio program; write a letter to your local paper. If the media outlet is liberal, then talk about economic impact of massive third world immigration.
      – text everybody in your cell phone queue now.

      • After the Senate passed Gang Bangers of Eight, I set out to call every House member at one of his or her local office numbers (the national switchboard is constantly busy). Even then, their local numbers are often hard to get through. I can generally only get four or five a day. I’m about 40% of my way through the whole House. I take the fact that their phone lines are busy as a good clue.

        I also saw on the Drudge Report tonight that Marco Rubio is being hounded. At an event that purportedly had nothing to do with immigration, a thousand people in attendance, many of them were screaming at him about amnesty. This is good, this is how it’s done.

  • KenelmDigby

    It’s universally acknowledged that the profession of medicine is the best occupation in the World.
    Therefore, one would think that any proud nation state would, more or less, reserve positions in that profession for its own children, (as a matter of fact places in medical school are massively over-subscribed in Britain).
    That Britain blithely gives a massive proportion of medical positions to alien foreigners, whilst disappointing an enormous number of its own young the opportunity to practice the profession, tells you everything you need to know about modern Britain.

  • watling

    How can countries like India and Pakistan afford to train doctors who then disappear abroad at the first opportunity to the UK and US, for example, taking their knowledge with them?

    Do these countries deliberately train more doctors than they need?
    If so, where do they get their money from and why would they do it in the first place?
    If not, how can these countries fill all their medical posts?

  • Lets have some remedial doctors then.

    They have then in England.

  • Funruffian

    I have a Persian dentist and he is excellent. I am not negating that foreign born doctors in the UK is the best alternative, but you have to way in many other factors like a clean office, professional atmosphere, skilled and friendly staff members and years of attained knowledge through experience. I can see ho a doctor with a language barrier may prove inferior to native British residents.
    The solution is not to deter and discourage professional immigrants, but to maintain certain standards conducive to upholding the safe practices of medicine. If they don’t cut the muster or fit into the culture well enough, don’t hire them.