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NRI Corner 2
#1
<b>ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD......STAY IN OWN COUNTRY HAVE SOME SELF-RESPECT DAKTAAR BABU !</b>


<b> Indian doctors out of work in UK
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------</b>

Sucharita Ghosh

Sunday, November 7, 2004 (East Ham):


A number of Indian doctors go to the UK every year with the dream of getting a good job but the dream has turned into a nightmare for many of them.

Several doctors there are overqualified but unemployed.

Every evening hundreds come to the Mahalaxshmi temple in East Ham, London to offer prayers and gratitude for their free evening meal.

They are not the homeless but in fact doctors from India who have come in thousands in answer to a call for recruitment from Britain's National Health Service or NHS only to find unemployment and have ended up living in London slums.

In many houses, 8-11 doctors live together in accommodation meant for only two infested with rats, cockroaches and bedbugs. Their stories are all chillingly similar.

"Some go to the temple, some to the Gurudwara, so 99 per cent of the people depend on them for lunch and dinner. Some people I know haven't got a job in 2 years. We've already paid so much money, we can't go back to India, so we have to struggle and somehow get into the NHS," said Dr Papanna.

"The living standards here are not good. The problem for doctors like me and people from other Asian countries is that we can't spend a lot as our money is limited and unless we get a job it becomes difficult to go to other parts of London and stay. This area has the cheapest accommodation and we have to accept whatever they give us," said another doctor.

Shattered dreams

With each unemployed doctor sending out over 10 applications for jobs and attachments per day, an estimated 50,000-80,000 postal applications go out each day. But even as the numbers of unemployed overseas doctors rise, the NHS continues to actively seek recruitment for a third of its posts from countries like India.

"The kind of doctors the NHS is looking for are senior doctors but the kind of doctors that seem to be coming from India are doctors who have just qualified and don't have any experience. They are competing with their own class fellows nobody else," said Dr Guneet, Indian doctor.

Many blame the internet for their wrecked dreams. As a primary source of information for most overseas doctors, they are easy prey to the flourishing business of crammer courses and estate agents who make their living off overseas doctors.

"Hassle-free" package deals are peddled on the internet - complete with sponsorship letters, accommodation, a guaranteed pass and a glamorous option to the Indian system. But it's the guarantee of employment that gets lost in the fine print.

"If you look at the entire UK saga - PLAB is the beginning - the membership, training is there for us to consolidate and then you may be able to use the UK to move on to the US," said Dr Sanjay Revankar, Indian doctor.

Difficult to resist

Admittedly, the maths is attractive and the dream of the big job in the big city is one that many find difficult to resist.

"In India it would have taken at least 10 years to get a degree and start earning a good sum that would satisfy my family needs. So I calculated that if I come to this place and I get a job even in a year's time, I will settle down and get a degree sooner and then decide to settle here or go back," maintained another Indian doctor.

But for many, the gamble doesn't pay off. Having staked over two years of their professional lives in preparing for Plab 2 and nearly all of their personal and family savings, most are left with little option but to play on.

"If I am sure of a job I am ready to spend as much as it requires. Because even if I go back home there is nothing back there - because I am just an MBBS and everyone knows the plight of MBBS graduates there," said Dr Mahadeo Bhide.

No one knows exactly how many unemployed overseas doctors there are in the UK. Estimates vary between 3,000 and 8,000. And as the wait for them gets longer and grimmer, what is becoming clear is that the more doctors take the PLAB exam, the more doctors are out of work.

http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory...txtsrch=doctors


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