Foreign doctors give Australia a flick

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Melbourne, 21 Sep (UNI) The overseas-trained doctors are shying from working in Australia as a sharp fall of 80 per cent has been reported recently by a industry journal.

The applications by OTDs have fallen, according to the Medical Observer, from around 200 a week to just 20 since mid-July.

Various medico recruitment consultants have blamed negative international publicity involving the two India trained doctors, Bundaberg's Dr Jayant Patel and the Gold Coast Hospital registrar Dr Mohamed Haneef.

Dr Jayant Patel is facing charges of negligence leading to deaths of a score of patients in Bundaberg Hospital in Queensland. Dr Haneef, on the other hand, was detained by Australian Federal Police in May this year as a suspect in the failed bomb plot in the United Kingdom.

However he was later released in absence of any evidence but his appeal for the restoration of his work visa is pending with the Australian Federal Court.

Ron Krause, the chairman of the Association of Medical Recruitment Agents, is one person convinced that some Indian doctors have decided not to come to Australia because of the negative publicity surrounding Dr Haneef.

"Dr Haneef was considered to be really mistreated," he told The Courier Mail newspaper."We probably lost three or four doctors that were all ready to go - they had their visas, they were coming.The doctors, just said, 'look, there's no way we can go to a country like that if that's the way they treat an Indian doctor'," Ron Kruse added.

Concerns have been expressed from various quarters that the massive drop in recruitment applications would cripple the health workforce.The rural areas are likely to borne, according to the Medical Observer report, the impact even more severely.

It is not that only Indian doctors are shying away from the Australia. Medical recruitment agencies are also surprised by the fall in applications from developed Anglo-Saxon countries like UK and Canada.

These two countries are considered to have comparable health systems making it easier for the medicos to immigrate.

Besides the cases involving Indian doctors, reported beneficial changes to GP contracts and working conditions in the UK were also to be blamed for the sudden drop in applications.


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