MORE overseas doctors are wanted for Scotland’s health service, Shona Robison said yesterday.

A drive to attract more foreign medics to NHS Scotland was launched by the Health Secretary yesterday amid fears that Brexit will strip international experts from the service.

A lack of clarity over the status of health workers from the 27 EU nations and the rest of the world post Brexit has led to concerns over the future of highly trained doctors currently within Scotland’s system.

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Robison unveiled plans to double the number of trainees on the two-year Scottish International Medical Training Fellowship (IMTF) programme.

The scheme consolidates a number of existing ventures which have seen more than 50 medics enter the health service since 2015.

Robison now aims to increase this to more than 100 over the next two years.

The programme sees successful applicants work in the NHS after completing medical training in their own country. The experience and skills gained then benefits their home countries when they return.

Meeting doctors recruited through the IMTF at Glasgow Royal Infirmary yesterday, Robison said: “The recruitment of medical staff is increasingly international.

“Since we started running international fellowship schemes three years ago, we have received very positive feedback from health boards.

“Consolidating existing schemes to recruit international doctors will help boards to access the best possible candidates. It will also make it easier for international doctors to take advantage of the opportunity to work in Scotland, and ensure a rewarding experience which will contribute to developing healthcare in their home countries.”

Nigerian trainee Babatunde Kayode-Adedeji, who specialises in the care of newborns, said: “The IMTF scheme has provided a platform for me to practice neonatal care at a level which I could not do in my home country.

“In addition to the clinical skills and expertise acquired, I now have a better understanding of the role of clinical guidelines in medicine. I have also been involved in teaching medical students and junior doctors in different hospitals in Glasgow, as well as performing a clinical audit.

“The programme has also given me an opportunity to interact with health workers from other countries.

“Though Scotland can be cold at times, the people are extremely warm. I would certainly recommend this scheme to other international doctors”

Current vacancies open to applicants include plastic surgery in NHS Grampian, old age psychiatry with NHS Forth Valley and paediatrics at NHS Lothian.

Dr Chris Lilley, consultant neonatologist and training programme director of the West of Scotland Paediatric Training Programme, said: “Scotland has always recognised the importance of attracting and supporting high-quality medical training for overseas graduates and is continuing to support these pathways.

“The successful International Medical Training Fellowship programme values international medical trainees while enabling Scottish health boards to fill vacant training posts.

“I have been involved in the recruitment, management and supervision of international trainees and have seen first-hand the areas where we have improved their skills. With well organised longer term support these trainees also benefit the services within which they work whether they be within Scotland or in their home countries.”