Support for refugee dentists

A SCHEME to help refugee doctors work in Scotland has now been extended to dentists.

Training, language support, professional mentoring and work experience will be offered so that their qualifications can be recognised by the General Dental Council.

The Scottish Government-funded New Refugee Doctors Project is run by the Bridges Programme and helps those who were clinicians in their home countries.

It will support an estimated 50 doctors and 10 dentists over the next year, each of whom has committed to working for NHS Scotland.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said: “Expanding the scheme to support dentists means Scotland will benefit from their expertise and highly specialised knowledge.

“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.”

Clinicians who want to work in the UK must have a high standard of English before sitting exams to prove their medical or dental knowledge is up to standard. The project – unique in the UK – offers additional language training as well as access to postgraduate study and help with job hunting.

Among the doctors helped by the project is Rabah El-Hassan who came to Scotland from Sudan. She was given help with exams and General Medical Council registration. She said: “My biggest hope now is that I will soon be working as a GP in my new home town of Glasgow.”