Syrian refugee doctors retraining to work for NHS Scotland

The unique £161,700 scheme is being funded by the Scottish Government.

NHS:  Staff will mentor refugee medics as they return to work (file pic). <strong>Peter Byrne / PA Archive/PA Images</strong>
NHS: Staff will mentor refugee medics as they return to work (file pic). Peter Byrne / PA Archive/PA Images

Refugee doctors, including medics from war-torn Syria, are being retrained to work for the NHS in Scotland.

The New Refugee Doctors Project gives language and learning support to qualified doctors who have been resettled north of the border.

NHS staff also mentor the medics to help them observe the standards set by the General Medical Council.

Syrian doctor Mohammad Helmi is one of the refugees on the training programme.


He said: “Getting back into medicine is what I have been looking for since my first day in Scotland, and I cannot imagine myself being anywhere else.

“It is my passion where I will be able to contribute the most to humanity.”

Those taking part are committed to working for NHS Scotland under the £161,700 Scottish Government-funded scheme.

Equalities secretary Angela Constance announced the funding on Wednesday at one of the training locations, Kersland House Surgery in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire.


Ms Constance said: “This programme – unique in the UK – will reduce the de-skilling of medics who have sought refuge in Scotland and will allow NHS Scotland to utilise the experience of refugee doctors with valuable and highly specialised skills.

“We know access to training and employment is crucial to integration and it can be devastating for those who had a skill in their home country to be unable to use that in their new country.

“By giving people a helping hand to utilise their skills, we’re not only supporting them to make connections and friendships and to build a better life, but we will all benefit from those skills too.”

The Bridges Programmes runs the training scheme in partnership with the British Medical Association, NHS Education for Scotland, Clyde College and the City of Glasgow College.

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