UK helps refugee doctors work in the health system

A government plan to help refugee doctors who come to Wales work in the UK health care system (called NHS) has been called a success by Social Justice Minister Edwina Hart.

The Welsh Assembly Government WARD (Wales Asylum Seeking and Refugee Doctors Group) scheme was set up to help refugee doctors pass the language tests required to work in the NHS.

It also provides a drop-in centre, in partnership with the charity Displaced People in Action, which gives refugee doctors access to medical journals, the internet and other facilities.

Since the scheme began in 2002 those taking part in the scheme have achieved a 100% pass rate in the tests. Fourteen doctors have been employed in the NHS in Wales as a result.

Mrs Hart said, "The WARD programme has already proved to be a success. Every refugee doctor who has found employment in the NHS as a result of the programme shows that the support the Assembly Government has given has been a wise investment."