NHS looks abroad to find new doctors

The Government is launching a worldwide advertising campaign
in a bid to recruit thousands of overseas doctors to work in the National
Health Service.

The NHS plan last year set a target of employing 7,500 more
consultants and 2,000 more GPs by the end of 2004, but there are concerns that
the Government will be unable to train enough British doctors to meet the
target.

Adverts will be targeted at senior doctors in industrialised
countries in the European Union, Australia, Canada, the US and Asia. Countries
like Spain, Germany and Italy will be a particular focus as they train too many
medical students for the available number jobs.

Steve Atherton, medical advisor to the Department of Health
on international recruitment, said, “It takes at least six years to train a
doctor. In the interim, it makes sense to see if we can attract senior doctors
from outside the UK.”

By Karen Higginbottom

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