Posted by: Witch Doctor | October 14, 2007

Tooke Report – BMA comments



Tooke Report: BMA commented on 8 October:

“The BMA today (Monday 8 October, 2007) welcomes Sir John Tooke’s detailed draft report following the disastrous introduction of the Modernising Medical Careers training reforms and says that any new system must not be forced through against the wishes of doctors.

The BMA will consider the detail of Sir John’s report and survey its members on the recommendations in addition to holding a conference on the future of medical training on 1 November.

Mr Ram Moorthy, chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, says:“We need to maintain excellence, fairness, and flexibility in medical training. Any future system has to be properly piloted. It must be driven by input from the medical profession, and the interests of patients, rather than a short-term political agenda. Better workforce planning will be crucial.

”Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the BMA, says: “This is a detailed report with many far-reaching recommendations. The BMA will carefully consider them all and we will canvass our members’ views as part of the process. The report highlights the need for coherent medical advice on key matters of principle, and the importance of doctors being involved in the management of the health service – we couldn’t agree more. Failure to engage with doctors was an underlying reason for the disaster we saw this year.

”The report states that medical immigration is an issue that needs to be addressed if future training systems are to be successful. The Department of Health has issued a discussion document on managing applications from international medical graduates. The BMA is calling for greater clarity on doctors’ immigration status, and for overseas medical students currently at UK medical schools to be allowed to complete their full postgraduate training in the UK. Dr Meldrum adds: “The immigration status of overseas doctors during the recruitment process this year was extremely vague, creating the possibility of discrimination. Overseas medical students have come to the UK on the understanding that they’d be able to train and work in the NHS. They’ve often made personal and financial sacrifices to come here. It would be hugely unfair to deny them opportunities to work in the NHS.

”The BMA welcomes the recommendation for a National Institute of Health Education. Dr Meldrum says: “Research and education are crucial to the future of the NHS, but academic careers were sidelined in Modernising Medical Careers. This is an area where major improvement is needed.

”The BMA shares Sir John’s concern that non-training posts represent a cul de sac and must be made more attractive. A new contract for non-training grade, or Staff and Associate Specialist, doctors is currently deadlocked.

“Mr Mohib Khan, joint chairman of the BMA Staff and Associate Specialist Committee, says: “Sir John is absolutely right that non-training posts are seen as a career dead end. A future contract for this group of doctors must include real training, and opportunities for career progression. The fact that the government is stalling is making the situation far worse.”

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