Indian doctors routinely failing key UK exams

Hundreds of foreign doctors, including those from India and Pakistan, are routinely failing key medical exams in the UK, according to a British media report. 
    “Success rates are so poor that medical associations want doctors to be allowed six attempts at passing the tests rather than the current four,” ‘The Mail on Sunday’ reported. The findings raise fears that trainee medics, mainly from India, Pakistan and Nigeria, are not qualified to treat patients despite spending three years working for the National Health Service (NHS) before taking the exam. Until they pass the exams, which qualify them to practice independently as hospital physicians or GPs, trainees continue to see patients — under supervision — in placements at hospitals and surgeries. 
    However, figures show that foreign doctors are substantially more likely to fail than UK graduates, with communication cited as one of the problems. While just 9% of British doctors fail to pass the knowledge and practical exams, more than 63% of foreign doctors do not reach the standard to pass. 
    Foreign medical associations are now demanding that doctors are given two additional opportunities to pass the tests amid claims that examiners may be discriminating against non-UK graduates, the report said. 
    However, their claims have been refuted by UK spe
cialists who say a study showed “no substantial effects of gender or ethnicity on examiner/candidate interactions”, and that passing the exams is dependent on having the appropriate skills. 
    “This is scandalous. If a doctor can go on failing they shouldn’t be treating patients in the NHS and that should be stopped,” Joyce Robins, co-director of campaign group Patient Concern, said. “There has to be a cut-off point and four attempts is too many,” he said. 
    Figures show that 63% of foreign doctors failed the test. Of the Indian doctors taking the test, 63% failed at the first attempt. For those from Pakistan, there was a 62% failure rate, while 68% of Nigerian doctors failed at the first try.

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