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JUN 03/2019

International Recruitment Update: Interview with Medacs Healthcare Head of UK Permanent Recruitment

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In light of the recent media spotlight on ethical recruitment for the NHS, Medacs Healthcare would like to clarify our position on overseas recruitment. Regularly running large scale overseas recruitment campaigns for NHS clients, we are fully committed to adhering to the UK Code of Practice set out by NHS Employers and can be found on the list of approved agencies. 

Despite the urgent need for doctors and nurses in the UK we are passionate about and committed to maintaining ethical recruitment standards as it is important to us that developing countries are allowed to invest in and grow their healthcare system without the disruption of active poaching.

Here’s an interview with Simona Bertolo, Medacs Healthcare’s Head of UK Permanent Recruitment who talks about our recruitment methodology for attracting international doctors and nurses to support our NHS clients.

Given the recent press about the NHS using agencies to recruit international healthcare professionals in restricted countries, what would you like to say to our NHS clients?

“I’d like to reassure them that as an ethical recruiter that is also a framework agency, we abide by the Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals (The Code).

We understand why The Code is in place and how important it is to not exploit other countries by targeting their workforce. We understand that we cannot directly recruit from any country on its restricted list or engage commercially with any agent based in one of these countries." 

Why do you think the NHS is using agencies that are not following The Code of Practice?

“It’s no secret that the NHS is under massive pressure to find doctors and nurses and the competition is aggressive.

Take a country like India for example. Everyone is recruiting from India. So even for us, where India is one of the main countries we recruit from, we have to compete with multiple agencies as well as the NHS itself as they also recruit directly.

We get plenty of agents contacting us wanting to supply us with candidates from restricted countries, but we push them away and explain that Medacs Healthcare won’t engage commercially with any agent who doesn’t abide by The Code.

Unfortunately, this is becoming a major problem with agents actively targeting and exploiting countries such as Nigeria, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc., as well as the Philippines for nurses.”

So which countries does Medacs Healthcare recruit doctors and nurses from?

For doctors, we actively market and recruit from India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Europe. Ever other country is on the restricted list. But we’ve actually got candidates from all over as the majority of our candidates come from recommendations from existing candidates. For nurses, we are active in the Philippines but we only recruit via POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) accredited agents. We also recruit nurses from India and from the UAE.” 

What sort of success are we having with our NHS recruitment drives?

While the competition is high, we are still seeing success with our recruitment drives. With the removal of the Visa cap for healthcare workers and the improvements in the IELTS scores, we have experienced an increased demand for nurses and doctors across our NHS clients."

Find out more  

Learn more about the Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals.  

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