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Planning to take 5,000 nurses to UK every year: Dr Mehta

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Nagpur: Apart from trained doctors, the European nations are also facing a shortage of nursing staff. At present, nearly 30,000 nurses of Indian origin are working in the United Kingdom alone. For the next five years, the British Indian Nurses Association (BINA), formed as a nursing wing of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (Bapio), is planning to take 5,000 nurses per year to UK, train them, and offer them a full-time job in hospitals there, revealed Dr Ramesh Mehta, founder president of Bapio.

Dr Mehta, a Nagpurian, has been working in the UK for the last 40 years. On Tuesday, he was in the city to take charge of the Commonwealth Association for Health and Disability (Comhad) president from Dr Uday Bodhankar, executive director of Comhad.

“We founded Bapio in 1996 after I witnessed the struggles of Indian doctors in the UK. Today, more than 60,000 doctors are associated with us. Nowadays, nurses are also coming in large numbers from India to the UK. Our special wing BINA will work for them,” said Dr Mehta. If these nurses work for five years in the UK, they will be able to get British citizenship too.

BAPIO has already collaborated with many hospitals in India. They train MBBS and MD/MS doctors for two years in India, and next two years in UK universities. Doctors get stipends during this period. After completing their specialisation plus MBA in health sciences, these doctors are free to work either in the UK or in India as per their choice. Hundreds of doctors are undergoing this training, said Dr Mehta.

“Taking a step forward, we have decided to train MBBS doctors who don’t get admissions to PG in paediatric care,” said Dr Mehta. He is in talks with Niti Ayog and National testing agency for this task.

“Those who don’t get admissions to PG and had to start practice after MBBS can get themselves trained in paediatric care. To make this official, Niti Ayog, NTA and Mumbai-based college of physicians and surgeons will help us,” he added. Doctors trained in childcare are the need of the hour for India. “If this idea goes well, we will have 50,000 practicing doctors trained in childcare in the next three years,” Dr Mehta claimed.

As he stays in London, Dr Mehta claimed that him being a Comhad president will have multiple benefits. “Commonwealth headquarters are in London and it would be easier for me to work. Presently, Comhad is working on a project on how we can help African countries where health facilities are poor,” he said.

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