NHS aims to lure Aussie doctors to the land of Harry Potter and … surfing?

Medical politics

By Michael Woodhead

8 Feb 2019

Faced with a mass Brexodus of EU-born doctors, England’s NHS is mounting a campaign to lure Aussie medicos to work in ‘the land of Harry Potter’.

The recruitment drive targeted at Australian doctors by NHS England is spruiking ‘attractive’ salaries of $9000 a month for those willing to work as GPs for the “national treasure” free national health service.

It says that Australian doctors will benefit from fast track registration in the UK through a Certificate of Eligibility scheme that cuts the usual one year application time to just three months for doctors trained after 2007.

Australian practitioners who relocate to the UK will get the chance to “extend your clinical experience as part of a team of 1.3 million NHS employees” in a healthcare system renowned “for its efficiency, safety, effectiveness, co-ordination and patient-centred care,” the campaign promises.

And in addition to the excellent career opportunities, Australian doctors who relocate to England will find that the land of Shakespeare, curry houses, Manchester United and Downtown Abbey is “a brilliant place to live”. It even offers “miles of sandy beaches” and surfing, according to the leaflet that makes no mention of English weather.

“The NHS needs you,” says the social media campaign, “There are already more than 2,000 Australians working for the NHS. We hope you will come and join them.”

But the campaign has elicited derision from some English doctors. Commenting in the medical magazine Pulse, they said the recruitment claims were “delusional in the extreme” as the NHS was a “toxic practice environment” where doctors were overworked, unsupported, unappreciated and underpaid.

They warn Australians who aspire to be Dr Harry Potters that  “you will need a magic wand to solve the problems you face, otherwise you will be blamed for everything. And don’t drink that potion, or you will find yourself trapped in that ever-shrinking contract.”

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