Written evidence submitted to House of Commons by Dr Sureyya Sonmez Efe (RTR0150)

Sonmez Efe, Sureyya (2022) Written evidence submitted to House of Commons by Dr Sureyya Sonmez Efe (RTR0150). Documentation. House of Commons Library.

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Written evidence submitted to House of Commons by Dr Sureyya Sonmez Efe (RTR0150)

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1.1.Healthcare is one of the sectors that felt the grave pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic
which surfaced the prevailing issue of staff shortages within the NHS Trusts. The pandemic
showed us the overrepresentation of health professionals from migrant backgrounds in the
health sector. The problem of the recruitment and retention of NHS staff in the country has
been exacerbated during the pandemic. Thus, the pandemic has taught us the value of
International Health Care Professionals (IHCPs) who become vital cogs for coping
mechanisms and future preparedness for such a great scale global health crisis in terms of
recruitment and retention of the IHCPs in the NHS.

1.2.IHCPs are not a homogeneous group that consists of medical staff from various legal
statuses including Refugee Doctors. For Refugee Doctors to practice medicine in the UK,
they need to pass language and professional exams and be registered with the General
Medical Council (GMC). The GMC registration process can be lengthy and costly for the
Refugee Doctors residing in the UK which means they remain out of practice for at least a
few years.

1.3.Economic integration of IHCPs would be a cost-effective and advantageous opportunity for
the NHS to overcome the ever-growing workforce crisis in the health sector. For instance,
training a doctor in the UK for up to seven years costs around £300,000, whereas requalifying a Refugee Doctor with Support Programmes for under two years costs around £25,0003.

1.4.The medical Support Worker (MSW) Scheme is introduced during the pandemic as a
temporary remedy to support NHS to overcome the pressure. This is clear evidence of an
innovative model for training, and recruitment of new medical staff in the NHS with a new
temporary role. Thus, NHS England announced £15m of national funding to trusts for ‘the
short term recruitment of up to 1,000 doctors as MSWs’ on a fixed term until March 20224
which is recently extended for another year until the end of April 20235. Through the Scheme, NHS England has called retiree doctors and doctors with overseas qualifications to work in NHS Trusts as support medical staff.

1.5.There are over 400 doctors who have been recruited as MSWs in the NHS England who do
not have GMC registration due to retirement or having overseas qualifications.

1.6.MSW Scheme is created to overcome the unprecedented challenges during the pandemic as
a temporary solution through short-term recruitment, however, if the Scheme becomes
permanent, it will offer a long-term remedy for training and recruitment of new medical
staff in the NHS, which also gave hope to Refugee Doctors to step into the NHS system while
waiting for GMC registration process. This scheme will prevent Refugee Doctors from
remaining out of medical practice for a long period and will lead the NHS to benefit from this
new training and recruitment model.

1.7.There are Support Projects and Programmes such as Bridges Programme, British Medical
Association Refugee Doctors Initiative, and Lincolnshire Refugee Doctors Project that aim to
support Refugee Doctors and other IHCPs for their economic integration, such as preparing
for the language and professional exams, career advice and work placements. These
programmes also enable Refugee Doctors and IHCPs social integration with community
activities which may lead to social cohesion on a wider scale.

Keywords:healthcare recruitment, refugee doctors, economic integration, medical support worker, COVID 19
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:53175
Deposited On:26 Jan 2023 15:24

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