Hundreds more international medics to become NHS doctors

Hundreds more international refugees are set to become NHS doctors as part of the new medical support worker role (MSW).

The new staff will come from countries across the world, including Ukraine, Afghanistan and Myanmar and will be fast-tracked into the health service while under strict supervision.

The medical support worker role sees those with medical training who come to live and work in England funnelled into the health sector to bolster the stretched and stressed NHS workforce.

This is all comes after NHS Medical Director, Sir Stephen Powis, confirmed that the programme is set to be expanded, which includes an additional £19m of funding – set aside for the recruitment of 500 supplementary staff by 2022/23.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: “Since its foundation in 1948, the NHS has relied on the skill and dedication of doctors, nurses and other staff from around the world and these medics – including those from places like Ukraine and Myanmar – are no different, as the health service supports those fleeing persecution to build a new life.

“The medical support worker role is an example of how the NHS is doing everything it can to tackle the significant workforce challenges it faces, rightly supporting hundreds of highly skilled and experienced medics to join the health service as quickly as possible.

“Colleagues taking part in the programme are supported to help grow their own skills and move into roles as senior clinicians, like gynaecologists or A&E doctors, but in the meantime they bring so much to the teams they join whether it’s supporting surgery, boosting capacity or helping to develop and train other staff.”

Approximately 470 people were employed in the role last year, including more than 120 individuals already occupying senior clinician roles within the NHS – a significant boost to the NHS workforce.

These workers arrive to the UK already well-trained in the craft, meaning that they are well-placed to enter more senior positions such as A&E medics, surgeons, or gynaecologists.

An estimated 2,000 international medical staff are not GMC registered, with the medical support worker role providing a welcome chance to an exciting career in the NHS.

More information about the announcement is available here.

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