'Tough' competition for NHS posts7th January 2008
Junior doctors applying for posts in the UK have been warned that the race for jobs this year will be "tougher than ever".
NHS employers said that on average there could be three applicants trying for every post. Applications start this month for August, with as many as 50% of the applications expected from doctors who obtained their qualifications outside the EU.
Following complaints and a computer problem after the new medical training application system (MTAS) was put in place last year, a new system has been devised for 2008.
Many applicants' forms will be processed by local medical deaneries and doctors can make as many applications as they wish.
Although 9,000 places exist for special training, there could be up to 23,000 applications.
Sian Thomas, from NHS Employers, said that junior doctors could face serious competition from other applicants. She added that in popular disciplines there could be up to 10 applicants per post.
"It is a good thing for patients that there is competition for jobs - it should mean they get the best doctors wherever they live."
The pressure group Remedy said that some doctors could face a "one-in-19 chance" of finding a position. Chris McCullough from the group commented: "Our view is that the system is essentially appalling."
The British Medical Association said they were concerned that the volume of applicants could cause difficulties for medical deaneries.
Ram Moorthy, chairman of the BMA junior doctors committee, said: "Our concern is that without adequate planning, the levels of competition could result in a lottery."
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Title: 'Tough' competition for NHS posts
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5246
Date Added: 7th Jan 2008