BAPIO drops CSA legal challenge but sets one-year deadline for reform

A doctors' group could revive a legal challenge over the fairness of the clinical skills assessment (CSA) element of MRCGP exams if the test is not overhauled to its satisfaction in the coming year.

Dr Ramesh Mehta: BAPIO wants progress on CSA within a year (photo: BAPIO)
Dr Ramesh Mehta: BAPIO wants progress on CSA within a year (photo: BAPIO)

The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) has decided not to appeal against a judicial review that found the CSA test was not racially discriminatory.

But its leaders have set a one-year deadline for reform of the test, which BAPIO remains convinced is unfair.

BAPIO took legal action against the RCGP and GMC after data showed UK graduates from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds were four times as likely to fail as their white counterparts.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, president of BAPIO, told GP the group was now planning to collaborate with the RCGP to tackle the differential pass rates, but would keep a close eye on progress to ensure change really does take place.

'One more chance'

He said BAPIO would give the RCGP ‘one more chance’ to set things right, before potentially seeking further litigation in a year’s time if the college failed to do this.

Dr Mehta said: ‘We are going to watch things over the next one year, and if no solution is found and the same pass rates continue, then we will challenge the RCGP again.

‘But I'm hoping with the RCGP being cooperative now we will be able to move forward, and of course we will work with the college in finding a solution.'

Despite BAPIO officially losing the case, Dr Mehta said he was pleased with the direction in which the situation was now headed, and that dropping immediate plans for appeal was ‘the best way forward’.

He said: ‘We got what we wanted, which is an appreciation that there is a problem for which there needs to be a solution.’

GP was awaiting a response from the RCGP at the time of publication.

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