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The Stirrer can reveal that the government has discussed sending hundreds of doctors abroad on VSO attachments to hide the mass unemployment caused by their controversial new recruitment scheme.

We’ve seen a leaked document prepared earlier this year by the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) - the body responsible for overseeing the Modernising Medical Careers programme designed to “fast track” medics to consultants posts.

It acknowledges that up to 10,000 doctors will be frustrated in their attempts to move onto the next step of the career ladder, and considers what help should be offered.

Although it’s anticipated says that many of those who can’t progress will be mopped up elsewhere in the Health Service or return home if they come from abroad, it’s acknowledged that up 1300 people may be at risk of having no work - although even here confusion reigns with the admission that “It is difficult to quantify their numbers”.

So whatdo you do with this rump of highly trained but understandably disgruntled doctors who’ve been trained at vast expense to the taxpayer but nowfind themselves on the dole?

MTAS has a solution: “we have approached VSO to scope the possibilities of placements for some doctors overseas - voluntary service posts. We have received a very positive initial response from VSO”.

We’ve spoken to the Department of Health who wouldn’t comment, but we’ve checked out the story out with VSO who have confirmed that discussions took place. Naturally, they would welcome skilled professionals who wanted to join in their highly commendable work. Of course they would.

But what does this all mean for the NHS? Only that the government’s new super-duper scheme aimed at increasing efficiency has actually turned into a multi-million pound charity subsidy.

Wouldn’t it have been simpler just to hang out a collection tin?

(To see how the government “hid” its apology about Modernising Medical Careers click here).

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