Doctors from foreign countries will now face more thorough assessments of their skills after research revealed that a high degree of those who have trained overseas have been disciplined by the General Medical Council.

A whopping 63% of Doctors struck off or suspended have been trained outside the UK. This figure is even more shocking when compared with the fact that this group of doctors actually only make up 36% of those on the General Medical Council Register.

It is clear from these figures that those trained outside the UK and working here as Doctors are more likely to have problems.

Reforms have been brought in to combat these figures and will include an induction programme, more detailed checks and a review of the current testing system.

The induction programme is set to be implemented this year as a pilot scheme and will combine online training in British medical practices with a one day course designed to cover the key issues facing those new to UK medical practice.

A review of the Performance and Linguistic Assessment Board test for overseas doctors, where overseas doctors must show their medical and clinical skills, has also been planned.

Plus a new system of checks called ‘revalidation’, where all UK Doctors have to demonstrate they are up-to-date and fit for practice, has been implemented already.

The General Medical Council reported that the UK is the first country in the world to implement such a system across the entire healthcare organisation.

However, some have said that the issue is a cultural and communication problem rather than a clinical one. And although Doctors from outside the EU already have to take language tests, there are plans to extend this so that all Doctors must prove they are fluent in English.

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