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UK Calls on 2,000 Indian Doctors to Ease Health Staff Shortages

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is facing what can only be described as the greatest workforce crisis in its history, as detailed by numerous sources, including Parliament’s Health and Social Care Select Committee, the Nuffield Trust, and various healthcare leaders. 


The call to arms, including the request for 2,000 Indian doctors, emerges from a multifaceted challenge characterized by a combination of acute staff shortages, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the complex dynamics of Brexit impacting the ability and willingness of international healthcare professionals to work within the UK system.


Industry sources have revealed a significant move by the NHS of the UK to address the severe shortage of doctors in the nation. The plan involves the fast-track recruitment of 2,000 doctors from India, a move that could potentially reshape the healthcare landscape. 


Under this program, the NHS will not only address its doctor shortage but also provide a promising opportunity for the initial group of doctors. They will receive postgraduate training and, after six to twelve months, be deployed to hospitals throughout Britain. Upon completion of the training program, these doctors would receive an exemption from the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) examination, which is a significant benefit.


Additional Read: A Look at Healthcare Systems in the US and UK


A number of people have expressed worries about the possible brain drain from India’s healthcare system, despite the fact that some regard the program as a solution to the doctor shortage facing the NHS.


Since India produces more than 110,000 doctors annually, and 2000 is a relatively modest number, an internal medicine physician said that the plan will not influence India. Although placements through this project, supported by NHS institutions, can provide useful experience, there is no promise of permanent settlement.


Due to government funding of numerous NHS hospitals, this project receives indirect government support. Hospitals are the only organizations driving the effort, and government agencies like the NCMD do not influence it. He further stated that both countries’ healthcare systems should gain from the information and skill sharing between India and the UK.


The NHS has a long history of depending on foreign physicians, with approximately 25 to 30 percent of its medical workforce being made up of physicians with training outside of the United Kingdom, according to one of the orthopedic surgeons.


In order to carry out this plan, the NHS has set up training facilities in significant private hospitals in Indian cities like Calicut, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur, Gurugram, & Mysore. 


According to accounts, Brexit has made the problem worse. The National Health Service, the UK’s publicly funded healthcare system, is spearheading physician hiring from India.


The postgraduate training for these physicians will take six to twelve months in India.

In order to practice in the nation, they will not be required to take the PLAB exam. Nowadays, physicians with foreign training make up 25–30% of the NHS’s medical staff.


Additional Read: Indian-Trained Nurses Fill the Gap in the UK’s Healthcare Sector


As the UK government navigates these challenges, the imperative to craft and implement a coherent, strategic response to the NHS’s workforce crisis has never been more critical. This includes not only addressing immediate staffing needs, such as the call for Indian doctors, but also undertaking systemic reforms to ensure the long-term resilience and sustainability of the health service.


Although the UK is reaching out to Indian doctors to tackle shortages in healthcare staff, it is important to note that the recruitment process for international placements can be complex and time-consuming. Dynamic Health Staff can be of great assistance here as we focus on personalized career pathways for medical professionals seeking opportunities abroad. 


Our all-inclusive recruitment assistance, which includes immigration, licensing services, eases the transition for physicians relocating abroad.


With our expertise in international healthcare recruitment, we ensure the quality and reliability of overseas job offers, making them a preferred choice for healthcare professionals looking to expand their horizons internationally. To know more, contact us today at +919810017608 or enquiry@dynamichealthstaff.com.


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Based out of the UAE , Dynamic Health Staff (www.dynamichealthstaff.com) is an industry leader in overseas recruitment since its inception in 1977. With 12 offices in 6 countries and a staff over 260 members, DHS focus on recruitment of healthcare professions into United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Canada and Middle East.

Each year, we give jobs to over 2500 healthcare professionals.

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