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11 February 2016, 10:05
Medically-trained and qualified refugees are being given help to get the additional skills they need to work for the NHS in Scotland.
The Glasgow-based New Refugee Doctors Project is offering about 30 medics support to access the training, language help, professional mentoring and work experience required for them to re-enter their profession.
Some doctors already on the programme specialise in fields such as trauma medicine, paediatrics, rehabilitation, general practice and prosthetics, the Scottish Government said.
International development minister Humza Yousaf said: "The New Refugee Doctors Project will help doctors to rebuild and develop their skills, and support them through the process which would enable them to work in the NHS.
"This helps them by supporting their integration and we are grateful for the contribution refugees, particularly skilled ones, make to the Scottish economy.
"We know that access to training and employment is crucial to integration.
"Employment is vital in helping people to make connections and friendships across communities; to building self-esteem; and to securing a better life, free from poverty.''
Doctors are required to study and pass strict English language, linguistic and clinical tests set by the General Medical Council (GMC) before being permitted to work in the NHS and they must be registered with the GMC and hold a licence.
The project, run by the Bridges Programmes support agency, will work to prevent de-skilling, give refugees the chance to experience the reality of working as a doctor in Scotland and overcome any cultural and linguistic barriers.
Director Maggie Lennon said: "Bridges is honoured to be able to extend our successful approach to employment and up-skilling to such a talented and motivated group of men and women who only want to be able to get back into the professions they love, and in which they have been so successful at home.
"Appalling circumstances have brought them to our shores, the very least we can do is help them re-establish themselves and at the same time help the NHS in Scotland.''