Health secretary defends decision to restrict entry of overseas medical graduates

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 21 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:410
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. 1London

Health secretary Alan Johnson defended his department’s decision to try to restrict the number of medical graduates entering the United Kingdom from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) during his evidence on Monday afternoon to the parliamentary health select committee.

Kevin Barron, chairman of the committee, which is investigating the government’s Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) policy, asked whether the minister felt a moral obligation towards those overseas doctors who had helped to support the NHS for so long.

“No one could suggest in any way that this is failing to meet some moral obligation. This is the right way to go,” Mr Johnson said. “The contribution international medical graduates have made has been enormous.

“You are quite right we would not have been able to run the health service without their contribution. But we have drained the world of medical graduates. I don’t think …

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