Monday, October 15, 2012

New study finds migrant doctors working in Australia get more complaints

I suspect that this even more so in Britain.  I monitor British medical disasters daily at EYE ON BRITAIN and the erring doctors named mostly seem to have foreign names, with names like Mohammed, Hussein and Ali being particularly common.  I will have to do a formal count of them some day

OVERSEAS-trained doctors are more likely than Australian-trained ones to have complaints made about them and disciplinary action taken, a new study says.

The University of Melbourne research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia's October 15 issue, found that the results differed markedly by overseas country of training.

The study found that doctors who qualified in Nigeria, Egypt, Poland, Russia, Pakistan, the Philippines and India had more complaints to medical boards than Australian-trained doctors.

The researchers analysed over 5000 complaints resolved by the medical boards in Victoria and Western Australia between 2001 and 2010.

They found that overall, overseas-trained doctors had 24 per cent higher odds of attracting complaints than Australian-trained doctors, and 41 per cent higher odds of having adverse disciplinary findings made against them.

The numbers of international medical graduates in Australian clinical practice have grown and now account for nearly 25 per cent of doctors in Australia.

The study's lead author Katie Elkin and research group leader David Studdert said high-profile cases featuring incompetent overseas-trained doctors had ignited public concerns.

But they said there had been very little hard evidence about whether the quality of care delivered by this large section of the national medical workforce was better or worse.

They found complaint rates against doctors trained in some countries were more than five times greater than complaint rates against doctors trained in other countries.

The authors said more research was needed into the reasons for the inter-country differences.

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Balakrishnan Nair said the report highlighted the need for better assessment, mentoring and support systems for overseas-trained doctors.


Sri Lankans not genuine refugees

ELECTRICIANS, security guards, government workers and businessmen were among a wave of middle-class asylum seekers caught leaving Sri Lanka by boat, the country's navy has revealed.

In a briefing to a Liberal MP on a study tour, Sri Lanka's navy revealed that most of the 2279 people arrested leaving on 52 boats this year from 24 locations were "economic migrants" looking for a better life in Australia.Sri Lankan authorities believed the asylum seekers had mortgaged property, taken out loans, pawned jewellery and received support from others to fund the $10,000 payment for people smugglers to take them to Australia.

The navy claimed in a briefing that asylum seekers chose to board unseaworthy one-engined boats for the dangerous 25 to 30-day journey to Australia in "appalling conditions" because of the "success rates" of Australia's asylum processing claim system.

Almost 100 of those arrested were businessmen, 179 were fishermen, 27 government workers, 87 drivers, 158 labourers, 15 electricians, 87 farmers and 43 masons.

Photographs taken by the navy (above) show filthy hulls into which dozens of people had been crammed along with pictures of each boat and a separate image of the asylum seekers, sometimes more than 100 from each boat, including pregnant women and very young children.

Sri Lankan officials have arrested eight people-smuggling kingpins, six of them in the Sri Lankan port city of Trincomalee.

Despite the arrests, 4109 Sri Lankans have reached Australia this year, including one boat carrying 70 people which arrived at the Cocos Islands yesterday. An unknown number have drowned.

Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, said yesterday there was no way of knowing how many had died on voyages but that relatives had reported family members missing to police.

Liberal MP Don Randall was briefed two weeks ago by the head of the navy in a region of Sri Lanka.

He spoke with 36 asylum seekers who had been arrested, including a man with his children. All said they wanted to come to Australia for a better life. Others who had been arrested were fishermen wanting to earn more.

"He had the rest of his family with him, he had sold his house, he resigned from his public service job," Mr Randall said before adding the asylum seekers who were arrested were not tortured or mistreated upon their return. Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said that after the largest refugee camp in Sri Lanka was closed last month, following the end of the nation's civil war in 2009, the government had an opportunity to return asylum seekers.

"Labor's inaction is encouraging more people to ... undertake a voyage even more dangerous than the one from Indonesia," Mr Morrison said.Asked about the report, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen declined to comment.

The UNHCR has recently returned more than 230,000 internally displaced Sri Lankans to their villages and assisted 873 who voluntarily returned from overseas.

A spokesman said the UNHCR still recommends "all claims by asylum seekers from Sri Lanka be considered on their individual merits", which the Australian government said it complies with.

Meanwhile, an Iranian man attempted suicide yesterday at the Nauru processing camp.Refugee advocates said the asylum seeker was "blue" when found. A Department of Immigration spokeswoman said he suffered no injuries.

When asked about the report, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen declined to comment.


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