BMA hands £25k to BAPIO for High Court MRCGP case

The BMA has handed £25,000 in funding and legal support to international doctors leading a judicial review over claims that the MRCGP exam is discriminatory.

BMA: supporting judicial review into MRCGP fairness

After mounting pressure from members, the BMA agreed to publicise fundraising activities for the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO). BAPIO faces costs that could exceed £200,000 for the judicial review against the GMC and RCGP into the fairness of the clinical skills assessment (CSA) part of MRCGP exams.

BMA solicitors are also compiling an ‘impact statement’ detailing members’ experiences of the MRCGP exam, which will be used as evidence in the High Court hearing - expected to take place early next year.

But now the BMA has revealed it is also contributing £20,000 in funding to support BAPIO, along with legal advice from a QC worth £5,000.

BAPIO argues that the CSA is 'unlawfully racially discriminatory', citing evidence that international medical graduates have lower pass rates than white UK candidates.

The RCGP has strongly rejected claims about discrimination in the MRCGP exam. A spokesman said earlier this year: ‘We take equality and diversity issues very seriously and strongly refute any allegations that the MRCGP exam is discriminatory.'

According to a report commissioned by the GMC, the failure rate for first CSA attempts is 4.5% for white UK candidates and 17.1% for UK BME candidates. For international medical graduates, the failure rate is 47.7% for white candidates and 65.2% for BME candidates. For white EU candidates, the failure rate is 32.3% and for BME EU candidates, it is 68.8%.

BMA equality and diversity committee chairman Dr Rafik Taibjee told GP that the union had come under fire from members who said it did not do enough to support doctors who qualified abroad.

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