Refugees with medical or dental skills will be supported to re-enter their profession as part of a Scottish Government funded project
REFUGEES with dental skills who make Scotland their new home will be supported back into their profession after the Scottish Government announced additional support to expand the programme which is already helping refugee doctors back into work.
The “New Refugee Doctors Project” has already helped 37 refugee doctors to begin re-training so that they can work in Scotland, and the Scottish Government says the programme will now be extended to include refugees dentists.
It is estimated 50 doctors and 10 dentists will be provided with training, language support, professional mentoring and work experience this year to help them transition into a medical career in Scotland.
Funding of £185,380 has been committed by the Scottish Government this year to support the initiative run by the Bridges Programme.
Anyone wishing to practise as a doctor or dentist in Scotland must be registered with and hold a licence to practise issued by the medical or dental regulator, and any professionals coming to the UK from a different country are required to pass strict language and clinical tests.
Scottish Government equalities secretary Angela Constance announced the expansion of the programme, saying: “The New Refugee Doctors Project has been a great success and is an example of how we can support refugees with medical skills start to practise in their new home country. Expanding the scheme to support dentists means Scotland will benefit from their expertise and highly specialised knowledge.
“Projects like this show how we can embrace people now living in our country and make use of their skills to help others live better, healthier lives.” Angela Constance
“We have a long history of welcoming refugees and are grateful for the contribution they make to our communities, economy and country. Projects like this show how we can embrace people now living in our country and make use of their skills to help others live better, healthier lives.”
In April, a report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health found that 110 more specialist paediatric consultants were needed in Scotland, and the children’s ward at St John’s hospital in Livingston has been closed out of hours since July 2017 due to staff shortages.
In Fife, it was recently announced that the out-of-hours emergency GP service would be suspended in some areas due to a shortage of GPs, meaning patients have to travel further if they need medical care overnight.
Sudanese doctor Rabah El-Hassan recently passed her final clinical exam as part of the programme, after approval from the medical regulator El-Hassan will be able to work as a GP in Glasgow.
“The Refugee Doctors’ Project has been amazing and helped me so much – from the support I have received for my exams, to sorting out my registration. I am very thankful for the support I have received from everyone.
“My biggest hope now is that I will soon be working as a GP in my new hometown of Glasgow.” Rabah El-Hassan, Sudanese doctor
“My biggest hope now is that I will soon be working as a GP in my new hometown of Glasgow,” she said.
Maggie Lennon, the director of the Bridges Programmes which runs the project, said: “Our doctors have worked extremely hard and have proved just how important it is to them to get back to practising medicine as quickly as they can.
“All of the doctors have made measurable progress towards their goals and in the coming year we will see many more gaining registration. This is down to their dedication and the quality of support from the project partners, and is delivering excellent value for money for the investment the Scottish Government has made in these remarkable women and men.”
Launched in 2016, the programme also works in partnership with NHS Education Scotland, the medical and dental regulators and the British Medical Association.
Picture courtesy of Reto Gerber
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