One of the biggest public institutions in this country is implementing a racist policy at the moment. It is spawned from a pledge by Tony Blair to get 7500 new consultants into post by 2005. In order to get those consultants into post, they have to be trained. At the specialist registrar level, there are many new national training numbers being rolled out at the moment. Unfortunately, these new training numbers are only being counted by the department of health if the people who are going into post are “career” doctors: from an EEA country.
The idea behind it is that career doctors will stick around after their six years of training and not go back to their home countries. Unfortunately, the way they’ve implemented this is by saying, “if you don’t appoint a career doctor, you lose the national training number again at the end of the visiting doctors’ six years”. This throws equal opportunities out the window, as it puts undue pressure on the appointments committee to choose a career (read: white) doctor instead of who is best on the day.
This coupled with the fact that as of August 1st, they will be charging 250£ at the home office for a permit free training visa, makes it less and less likely that we, as the public, will be getting GOOD doctors. Would you rather someone who came through at the bottom of their class, by dint of being european, taking care of you when you’re sick? How about your kid?