Scottish Refugee Council welcomes support for refugee medics to re-enter profession

Doctor
Medically-trained and qualified refugees are being given help to work for the NHS in Scotland.

Medically-trained and qualified refugees are being given help to get the additional skills they need to work for the NHS in Scotland.

Scottish Refugee Scotland welcomed the New Refugee Doctors Project, which will offer around 30 medics support to access training, language support and professional mentoring, as well as the work experience they need to re-enter their profession.

Some doctors already on the programme specialise in fields such as trauma medicine, paediatrics, rehabilitation, general practice and prosthetics, the Scottish Government said.

International Development Minister, Humza Yousaf, said: “The New Refugee Doctors Project will help doctors to rebuild and develop their skills and support them through the process which would enable them to work in the NHS. This helps them by supporting their integration, and we are grateful for the contribution refugees, particularly skilled ones make to the Scottish economy.

“We know that access to training and employment is 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.”

Wafa Shaheen, Interim Head of Refugee Services at Scottish Refuge Council said:

“We welcome the Scottish Government ongoing support to refugees to be able to retrain and to become active New Scots

“Refugees come to this country with a wide range of skills, experience and attributes, but all the refugees we meet have high levels of motivation to live, work, contribute and to feel human again, regardless of their educational backgrounds.”

Doctors are required to study and successfully pass strict English language, linguistic and clinical tests set by the General Medical Council before being permitted to work in the NHS and must be registered with the GMC and hold a licence. 

The Glasgow-based project, run by the Bridges Programmes support agency, will work to prevent de-skilling, give refugees the chance to experience the reality of working as a doctor in Scotland and overcome any cultural and linguistic barriers.

Director Maggie Lennon said: "Bridges is honoured to be able to extend our successful approach to employment and up-skilling to such a talented and motivated group of men and women who only want to be able to get back into the professions they love, and in which they have been so successful at home.

"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."