A study by [b]University College London[/b] (UCL) has found that half of 88,000 foreign doctors would not be able to practise in the UK if they were subjected to the same level of scrutiny as UK doctors, reports [s]The Guardian[/s]. The language ability of some has been questioned and the research, published in the [s]British Medical Journal[/s], potentially shows more wide-ranging inadequacies.
Around 1,300 foreign physicians are licensed each year by the [b]General Medical Council[/b] after passing an exam which assesses clinical and language skills. The study’s authors have called for the pass rate of the competency exam to be raised from 63% to 76% to ‘ensure patient safety’. They warn, however, that if this were done, it would create ‘a major shortage’ of doctors in the UK’ [b]National Health Service[/b] (NHI).