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Plans Of Recruiting Pas From America Causes Displeasure In Scotland

A delegation comprising of senior doctors, members of the Scottish Executive and cash-strapped NHS health boards are in San Francisco for up to a fortnight// at cost of taxpayers to try to hire 20 physicians' assistants. They are trying to recruit staff under a controversial new plan to combat the shortage of physicians.

With hundreds of junior doctors from overseas who trained and worked in Scotland are facing deportation because of changes in immigration rules, this news regarding the trip and US efforts has angered the opposition politicians and health care workers. They have accused the executive of wasting money. They also expressed fear regarding the safety of patients.

Margaret Davidson, chief executive of the Patients Association in Scotland, said that this was another example of health service inefficiency. She said that the taxpayers will be confused as to why they are spending thousands of pounds sending a delegation to America to recruit assistants who are not as well qualified as the hundreds of doctors who long to stay and work in Scotland.

The US-trained assistants are being recruited for a two-year pilot scheme to help hospital doctors and general practitioners. If the scheme is successful, it will spread across the country. The project will allow newly qualified science graduates to carry out minor operations after only one or two years of medical training.

It was explained that Pas were commonly used in America, these people assist in surgery, conduct physical examinations, provide patient education and preventative health counselling and are licensed to prescribe medication and they are always supervised by senior medical staff. But some years back after a similar such a pilot scheme; doubts were raised about the lack of the adequate supervision for the assistants. This is felt to be of a greater magnitude as Scotland is supposedly facing a more acute shortage of consultants.

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