Test fee waived for refugee doctors

Refugee doctors will no longer have to find the money to sit the first part
of the test they are required to pass to demonstrate their linguistic

The General Medical Council has waived the £145 fee for refugee doctors to
sit part one of the Professional Linguistics Assessment Board test. The test
aims to ensure overseas doctors have the competence and communication skills to
work as senior house officers.

Dr Edwin Borman, chairman of the BMA’s International Committee, said,
"We appreciate this initiative and hope it will be extended to the second
part of the more expensive PLAB exam.

"Currently it takes about 12 to 15 months for the Home Office to process
asylum applications and we’re concerned that doctors classified as
asylum-seekers may not be able to recommence their studies sufficiently if they
are exempted from this offer. We hope the GMC will extend the initiative to
asylum- seekers."

Lew Swift, head of personnel and corporate services at the Walton Centre for
Neuroscience, said, "Anything that helps us to recruit doctors in the
shortage specialities has got to be a good thing. However, there’s a danger
that there will be complaints from those who have to pay."

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