One-third of doctors starting training posts are foreign graduates, according to the Department of Health

Almost one-third of doctors starting training posts on 1 August are from overseas, the Department of Health has confirmed.

It revealed that 3,832 foreign graduates had been given jobs, along with 9,336 UK graduates.

Meanwhile, more than 4,000 UK applicants were not offered posts, despite the fact that 2,432 doctor training posts remained unfilled after the first round of the controversial recruitment system.

The official announcement comes eight days after Personnel Today exclusively revealed that “about 2,000” posts were to be unfilled.

A second round of recruitment, launched to fill 2,320 of the remaining roles, will run until 31 October. There will then be 1,000 further posts made available after that.

Doctors’ body the British Medical Association said wards could be left understaffed because of the recruitment gaps – and that thousands of doctors had been turned away by the scheme.

Dr Jo Hilborne, chairman of the body’s Junior Doctors Committee, said: “The bottom line is that 16,000 talented doctors are caught up in a desperate scramble for a handful of training opportunities.

“It remains alarmingly unclear what will happen at the end of the month when junior doctors’ contracts end. If trusts do not have adequate plans in place for 1 August, wards may be understaffed and operations cancelled.

But the government was unrepentant. Health minister Ann Keen said: “The high fill-rate is good news for patients, the NHS and deaneries across the country, and has been achieved despite this year’s problems with implementing the national recruitment programme.

“We are working hard with the NHS on this second round of recruitment, and on the development of a package of support for those appointable applicants who have yet to find a post.”

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