When there is no place to go, it is easy to apportion blame to anyone who even dares to mention the word PLAB.
Whatever happens between now and Aug 06, lets not forget a few facts.
For Fresh Graduates coming to the UK, the present scenario DOES NOT OFFER MUCH HOPE OF FURTHER TRAINING.
For those who have specialized, there is a limited chance OF SEEING AND LEARNING, Trust Jobs or otherwise, but little scope of FORMAL TRAINING.
For those who come here to settle, (most of us I presume), The road to the Cherished Post of Hospital Consultants is effectively closed (and I am not saying that it has been wide open before) and that is not solely because of the current changes in rules preferring UK/EU graduates.
The NHS cannot afford to hire new staff even if the need exists. The NHS is cutting down on new recruitment as well. Clearly, when the NHS Chief Quits because of he is not able to manage its debts, and Hospitals are forced to cut 1000 staff because of debts, things are not going too well. And, contrary to all the reassuring noises being made by politicians in this country, there is not a solution in sight.
As far as the present situation goes, the PFT system had two aims
1. Find people to run the day to day activities of the NHS, the carrot dangling in front of them being the prospect of training and advancement.
2. Ensuring that they did not settle in this country
Much has changed since then.
1. The UK graduate intake has increased -> and the Dept of Health does not have a clue as to where to find 2000 seats for training them once they come out of FY2 (Rather, they had a clue, but they did not let anyone know till the end)
2. MMC has changed the system of training
3. NHS is running short of cash, and is unable to create any more posts
4. There are complaints about local grads not getting jobs => Imagine another 2000 grads hitting the system( The increased intake of local grads)
Any local grad who does not get a job is in the same plight, possibly worse - with crippling loans and no one to pay their bills! And just imagine what if one of the national newspapers takes up the story of just one of them titled "Those Bloody Immigrants". I am sure the opposition will get one more stick to beat the government with, if it does not make them lose the next general election.
Read the newspapers, everyday you find news of yet another round of job cuts in the manufacturing sector. The news that foreigners are taking away the top service sector jobs as well, leaving UK grads jobless is certainly not music to the electorates ears.
Remember, these are all political decisions, taken by the government of the day. Unlike so many other nations, the electorate do not appear to have much role other than ticking the same MCQs (Ans: 1. Cons 2. Lab 3. LibDem 4. Go back to 1,2,3) every 4 years, and letting them run the country. And the people in power, naturally have to do all that they have in their power to make them tick the right box.
All too often, we are too focussed on medicine to see these realities outside. If we look at the NHS, and what is being done to set its woes right, we will be able to see where we end up in the system.
In recent times, the emphasis has been on making the NHS more like a corporation and less of a bureaucracy, and make it financially accountable. And corporate downsizing means redundancy. The days that Doctors were in shortage are far from over, but then again, merely having an MBBS degree does not guarantee you a job either.
Supermarket chains are already talking about providing care under their roof, the lucrative GP Jobs may vanish, just like your local grocer.
There is an oversupply, and to the relief of the government, they have found a group that have "no recourse to public funds", and even better, who are willing to stump up 500 quid for the honour of having those words stamped on to their passports, each time around. Easy peasy- just tell them you are not required anymore and the problem will vanish. Remember, we are dealing with the same people who have the gall to tell their electorate with a straight face that cutting 1000 jobs in a hospital will not affect patient care, and who are contemplating managing angina and asthma at home because money can be saved.
And contrary to wishful thinking, they do not believe that they have any responsibility to ensure our training. The UK government is there to protect the interests of their own citizens, no matter what they speak of equality and free trade and free movement of labour across borders.
Dear friends,these problems are not unique to UK. It is the same everywhere. It is time we woke up to these facts, and started planning for tomorrow even if it means eating the humble pie.
Note: Originally posted in this thought provoking thread at http://www.rxpgonline.com/postt45517.html