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NHS Imports Foreign Docs For Off Hours

Another cautionary tale from the UK’s Daily Mail:


Blunder: David Gray, 70, was killed by German doctor Daniel Ubani (right)

Foreign GPs who commute to Britain: £100-an-hour Poles and Lithuanians fly in for shifts our doctors won’t do

By Rebecca Camber
25th August 2009

The huge extent to which the NHS needs foreign doctors to treat patients out of hours is revealed today.

A third of primary care trusts are flying in GPs from as far away as Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland because of a shortage of doctors in Britain willing to work in the evenings and at weekends.

The stand-ins earn up to £100 [$162] an hour, and one trust paid Polish and German doctors a total of £267,000 [$434,674] in a year, a Daily Mail investigation has found.

It raises fresh concerns that British patients are being treated by exhausted doctors without a perfect command of English.

Yesterday the Royal College of GPs and the General Medical Council called for a ‘radical review’ of out-of-hours care so that the NHS no longer has to rely on help from abroad.

The figures come months after an investigation was launched into the conduct of a German doctor after two patients died on his first shift in Britain.

Daniel Ubani had just three hours sleep after travelling from Germany before he went on duty in Cambridgeshire.

The Nigerian-born doctor injected 70-year-old kidney patient David Gray with ten times the maximum recommended dose of morphine, and an 86-year-old woman died of a heart attack after Ubani failed to send her to hospital.

The NHS is having to rely on doctors from overseas because a lucrative new contract for British GPs has resulted in more than 90 per cent opting out of responsibility for their patients in the evenings and at weekends.

Despite doing less, their pay has soared by 50 per cent to an average of almost £108,000 [$175,823].

Responsibility for out-of-hours cover has now passed to primary care trusts.

The rules state that foreign doctors need to have basic GP training, but recent experience is not always necessary.

Their qualifications are checked by the General Medical Council and the local PCT, but no checks are in place to ensure that they are not exhausted after working long hours in their home country.

Our investigation revealed that more than a third of the 152 primary care trusts (PCTs) in England have flown in foreign GPs in the last year. Of the 146 trusts who responded, 51 have used overseas GPs in the last 12 months.

The figure has trebled since 2008 when just one in ten primary care trusts were flying in GPs from abroad. However, it is impossible to know the exact number of GPs travelling to the UK as many primary care trusts do not keep a record of their nationality…

This is another aspect of socializing our healthcare system that has received little attention.

Doctors refusing to work evenings and weekends.

And notice that despite that, their salaries have gone up 50 percent.

So much for all the vaunted savings.

But don’t worry. It can’t happen here.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “NHS Imports Foreign Docs For Off Hours”

  1. Confucius says:

    That’s happening here!

    The night shift at our Emergency Room is occasionally staffed by a Nigerian-born and trained pediatrician.

    He’s awful. Forget the fact that he barely speaks English, he doesn’t know any medicine!

  2. proreason says:

    Just as soon as we can replace our over-compensated, amputation-obsessed doctor supply with Acorn-trained medicos, we can get them organized in the SEIU so they can enjoy the same work hours and benefits as their compadres in the DMV.

    We’re America and we can solve the after-hours issue by having Obamy command sick people to not get sick during off-hours.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      ACORN can run and staff a 24/7 VooDoo hotline when ER’s shut down due to Obama NoCare.

  3. VMAN says:

    It all in interest of cultural diversity. Who’s to say that wolf bane or killing a chicken or rolling some bones or even psychic surgery is not as good as an MRI or micro surgery or or skilled surgeons trained in the finest med schools in the US. I mean how bigoted can we be.

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