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Kuwait visit heralds start of international learning partnership

24 October 2019

Doctors from Kuwait will be offered specialty training in the UK as part of a new scheme agreed with Health Education England (HEE)

Suitably-qualified candidates from Kuwait will learn alongside UK medics with all costs borne through sponsorship by the Kuwaiti government.

The partnership will see Kuwaiti doctors offering frontline care while filling additional postgraduate specialty training places, with surplus revenue reinvested in the NHS.

The initiative is part of the International Postgraduate Medical Training Scheme (IPGMTS), which offers additional specialty training posts within the NHS for a fee in order to support overseas governments looking to supplement their own health training.

The partnership was sealed in Kuwait this month by a visiting delegation from HEE including chief executive Prof Ian Cumming, director of global engagement Prof Ged Byrne and global engagement senior policy manager Elaine Brock.

Prof Cumming said: “We are delighted to be embarking on this mutually-beneficial venture which will help boost the numbers of doctors working in the UK, while also providing Kuwaiti doctors with access to the best medical training in the world which they can then use back in their home country.

“It’s a mark of how highly UK postgraduate medical training is thought of that states such as Kuwait are keen to share our expertise.”

HEE and the government of Kuwait have been working together to secure this innovative partnership since February 2019. The Kuwaiti government also fully funded the visiting delegation.

Between five and 20 Kuwaiti doctors are expected to meet the scheme’s criteria each year. They may include undergraduates already attending courses in the UK or Ireland. Discussions about where they will train are in progress, and recruits are expected to take up places from September 2020.