BMA chairman slams NHS dependence on overseas medics

The
chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) has condemned the NHS’
reliance on overseas doctors and nurses as a "shameful record of
exploitation".

James
Johnson highlighted the continuing shortage of doctors in his address to the
BMA Annual Conference in Llandudno. He said that after more than 50 years of
the NHS, the UK should be producing enough doctors to look after patients.

“As
the fourth largest economy in the world we are… still taking doctors away from
countries such as South Africa and nurses from the Philippines, who need them
more than we do,” he said.

He
praised doctors from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who have been a mainstay of
the NHS for the past 40 years, but who have received "scant
acknowledgement" or suffered "outright discrimination".

Johnson
said: "We want to train more doctors, but I stress more fully-trained
doctors. Patients deserve fully-trained doctors and we have to provide them
without working them 72 hours a week."

By Michael Millar

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