Groundbreaking project will help refugee medical professionals re-skill and work in the NHS
A charity is to re-train 30 refugee medics to enable them to work in the NHS in Scotland.
Run by the Glasgow-based Bridges Programmes, the project will help fill gaps in the NHS while allowing medically qualified refugees to continue to practise their profession in Scotland.
Those taking part in the New Refugee Doctors Project include specialists in trauma medicine, paediatrics, rehabilitation, prosthetics and general practice.
All taking part in the project must pass English language and clinical tests set by the General Medical Council as well as a licence to practise medicine before entering the health service.
Maggie Lennon, director of the Bridges Programmes, said: “Appalling circumstances have brought them to our shores the very least we can do is help them re-establish themselves and at the same time help the NHS in Scotland.
“They represent expertise in a wide variety of disciplines including trauma medicine, paediatrics, rehabilitation, general practice and prosthetics.
"It's imperative that we can support them through the formal processes needed to have their experience, qualifications and skills recognised and accepted as quickly as possible.”
Training will also be supplied in terms of study skills for sitting exams as well as guidance on overcoming cultural barriers
They represent expertise in a wide variety of disciplines - Maggie Lennon
Doctor Greg Jones, of NHS Education for Scotland, said: “It is our aim to ensure the potential of refugee doctors to become valuable contributors to the NHS in Scotland is fulfilled.
“Before doctors can work in NHS Scotland they need to prove they have a very good level of English and pass exams to prove their medical knowledge.
“NHS Scotland are working with the Bridges charity to support refugee doctors through this process.
“When a doctor moves to a new country it is not just a new culture but a new health service that they will need to understand and engage with.”
International development minister Humza Yousaf added: “We are grateful for the contribution refugees, particularly skilled ones, make to the Scottish economy.
“We know that access to training and employment are crucial to integration.
“Employment is vital in helping people to make connections and friendships across communities, to building self-esteem and to securing a better life, free from poverty.”