Medical negligence claims are going through the roof throughout the United Kingdom, and many of these reports may be linked to doctors who were qualified for the medical field abroad and then moved into or returned to the United Kingdom in order to practice medicine. Medical schools in the United Kingdom are reported to have strict policies about teaching students the proper means of taking a medical history, and the proper means of diagnosis. For many individuals who have filed medical negligence claims as of late, and the family members of those who were severely injured or died as a result of the negligence, many questions are left unanswered when a doctor from abroad causes the death of a loved one.
Misdiagnosis by internationally qualified medical practitioners is a significant problem in the United Kingdom. Misdiagnosis leads to patients receiving treatment for illnesses they do not actually have. In many cases this can put patients in serious harm’s way as they do not need the medications being prescribed to them. In some cases the medication for many illnesses can have catastrophic consequences when given to a patient who is not ill. Consider being diagnosed with cancer when in fact you do not have cancer. The chemotherapy and other treatments for cancer ravage the human body, leaving it often unable to protect itself against infection. For those who are misdiagnosed the pain and suffering is unbearable and unimaginable.
According to recent reports, there are around 260,000 doctors who are licensed to practice medicine in the United Kingdom at present. More than 35 per cent of these doctors are reported to have received their qualifications to practice medicine from a school outside of the United Kingdom. More disturbing is the result from a study which indicates that the large majority of the more than 95,000 foreign-qualified doctors practicing in the United Kingdom would not be able to pass the certification exams necessary to practice medicine in the country if they had to pass the same exam with the same requirements as their British counterparts and peers. These are alarming statistics. Comments from the British International Doctors Association (BIDA) indicate that the group believes in standardized testing that would require all doctors to take a test to become certified in the United Kingdom. Doctors would not be licensed to practice medicine in the country until they have passed the exam.
Further statistics are even more alarming. Reports indicate that while more than 1,300 doctors who qualified in foreign countries to practice medicine pass the exams to become licensed in the United Kingdom each year, less than half that number should have qualified. These reports are based on surveys of the qualifying behaviors, actions, and abilities of the doctors after they have passed the written exams to become licensed. Currently the passing marks for the licensure exam for doctors in the United Kingdom are at only 63 per cent, but some professionals recommend increasing the requirement to 75 per cent.