Straight-A students are being turned away from British medical schools and forced to pay for training in Eastern Europe, while the National Health Service (NHS) plunders the Third World for already-trained doctors instead.
The Daily Mail spoke to a number of star students who earned top A-levels and supplemented their CVs with spells volunteering at local GP surgeries, overseas clinics, hospices, and pharmacies — and even earned degrees in related fields such as Biomedical Science — who were turned away from British medical schools, despite the NHS facing a shortfall of some 10,000 doctors.
Department of Health and Social Care figures show that only 6,000 of 18,000 medical school applicants were awarded places last year — with many of the 6,000 likely going to foreign applicants, who have often been favoured over British applicants.
In fact, the Mail found that so many talented would-be medical students were being rejected that a cottage industry of English-language medical schools in countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia have sprung up to cater to them — but even this option is not available to youngsters who cannot afford the fees.
“[Studying medicine] was a dream — something I had set my mind to — and it felt like I’d done all I possibly could to achieve it,” said Molly Sandhu, who now pays £7,000 ($9,300) a year to a Bulgarian medical school.
“I’d got straight A grades in all the right subjects; I’d gone out and got the experience. What more was I supposed to do?” she asked.
The Mail cites research published this week by the Royal College of Physicians, which suggests that Britain is training only half the number of doctors the country will require by 2030 — with the NHS increasingly turning to foreign doctors to plug the gaps.