International comparison of ten medical regulatory systems

What were the key findings?

We commissioned this research to investigate the similarities and differences of the systems of medical regulation. We looked at several countries where many of the doctors working in the UK obtained their primary medical qualification. 

The countries selected for analysis were the ten largest groups of non-UK qualified doctors registered in the UK: 

  • Egypt
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • India
  • Italy
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • Spain

The study developed a typology of medical regulatory systems and characterised the medical regulatory system of each of the ten countries according to this typology.

The basis is on available documentation and key informant interviews. It then compared medical regulation across the ten countries, and analysed similarities and differences within each subsection of the typology.

Findings show that there is significant variation in the structure, remit and values of medical regulation in the countries analysed.

In many, medical regulation is a shared responsibility between many bodies. Notably, regulators, ministries of health and education and professional bodies. We can group the values of medical regulation found across the ten countries into three clusters: 

  • those which are patient-focused
  • those which focus on scientific knowledge
  • those which focus on the welfare/interests of medical professionals.

Improved communication with other regulators to improve information sharing about medical practitioners wishing to practise in the UK. The provision of assistance to non UK-qualified medical graduates to adapt to and understand the UK patient-centred approach to medical practise.

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