Thursday, February 24, 2005

NHS in the United Kingdom Recruits Dentists from Poland

Scottish News reports "The Government today hailed the success of an international recruitment drive to bring dentists from overseas to fill holes in the NHS.

Health Minister Rosie Winterton met Polish dentists at a training school in Warsaw who will eventually come to work for the NHS in England.

They will join 29 dentists from Poland who are already working in the NHS to tackle shortages and give more patients access to NHS dentistry.

When they have completed they induction programmes the Polish dentists will fill vacancies in areas with some of the most long-standing shortages, including Hull, Shropshire and Sussex.

The Department of Health said the recruitment of overseas dentists was part of a reform programme to bring unprecedented levels of investment, extra UK training places and new ways of working to make NHS dentistry more attractive to dentists.

Many primary care trusts (PCTs) are managing their own international recruitment programmes in addition to the Government’s centrally managed initiative.

Ms Winterton was meeting with Polish health minister Marek Balicki and his deputy Pawel Sztwiertnia to thank them for their co-operation with the recruitment of dentists.

“Our international recruitment programme is well underway.

“The first group of 29 dentists from Poland are already at work in the NHS treating thousands of patients, with more on the way.

“The NHS has been impressed by their high standards and is supporting them to help them settle into life in England.

“We have committed to increasing the number of NHS dentists by 1,000 by October this year, and our international recruitment programme will deliver two-thirds of these,” Ms Winterton said.

The minister met the dentists towards the end of their language training courses.

They form part of the second tranche of 41 dentists due to start work in England in April and May.

Immigration Minister Des Browne said: “This is a good example of accession state nationals providing key scarce skills to the UK.

“Since May 2004, workers from Poland and from the other seven accession states who have come to the UK are working not only in the health service, but also are filling gaps in sectors such as hospitality, agriculture, and construction.”

Mr Balicki said: “We perceive the UK as a very reliable partner in Europe and do value the importance of the Polish-British co-operation on various issues, including opportunities for Polish dentists to work in the NHS.”

The DoH said Poland was supportive of their recruitment programme because there is a surplus of dentists in the country.

The department is also looking at opportunities to recruit dentists in Spain and Portugal."

I guess the Polish Immigrant Dentists will be like the Guest Worker Program here in the USA. Isn't it grand that if the socialist governmentof Tony Blair cannot cajole indigenous dentists to work for the National Health Service, they merely take their tax money and recruit off-shore.

Bloody disgraceful if you ask me!

Did they ever reckon that a private system of dental care delivery might work better?

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