Foreign doctors account for 'excessive' fitness-to-practise complaints

Excessive numbers of foreign doctors are continuing to be hauled up before the GMC.

Professor Sir Graeme Catto
Professor Sir Graeme Catto

NHS trusts and the police account for twice the proportion of complaints about foreign doctors as UK graduates.
Over 27 per cent of complaints about foreign doctors come from trusts and the police, against 14 per cent for UK doctors.

The GMC has found that there are excess foreign doctors at each stage of fitness to practise from complaints to hearings.

‘The international medical graduate profile is skewed in terms of complaints from persons acting in a public capacity. The question is why?' said Paul Philip, GMC's director of standards and fitness to practise.

Last year's GMC ethnicity survey was intended to help explain the discrepancies but response has only reached 60 per cent. A second trawl hopes to boost response rates to 70-80 per cent.

 ‘Council wishes to explore further why we've got this apparent imbalance in fitness to practise. Simply describing it for another year is unsatisfactory,' said Council president Professor Sir Graeme Catto.

The GMC is embarking on a multi-pronged research programme with the Economic and Social Research Council to understand why foreign doctors figure so prominently in its fitness-to-practise activities.

GMC website

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