Stroud: Ukraine-licenced doctor waiting for UK work

Image caption,

Dr Excel Ezeh wants to work in the

A Ukrainian-licenced doctor says he is unable to build a life in the UK because he cannot do the tests that would allow him to practise medicine.

Dr Excel Ezeh fled the war along with his wife and mother-in-law and is living with a host family in Stroud.

He is frustrated because delays mean it may be two years before he can start treating patients.

The General Medical Council (GMC) said it processes applications from refugees "as quickly as possible".

Dr Ezeh was born in Nigeria, and has been a consultant gynaecologist for seven years in Ukraine, specialising in oncology.

Image source, Excel Ezeh

Image caption,

Dr Ezeh was a consultant gynaecologist in Ukraine

To practice legally in the UK, he will need to take more tests, but has been told it is unlikely he will be able to sit them in the next 12 months.

"Initially most people came here and just kind of tried to start a life here, and there was no need to go back," he said.

"I think that sentiment has been changing recently because if you have to wait two years and you can't really use your skills, that's a problem."

Image caption,

Tom Jarman and his wife Rachel are hosting Dr Ezeh in Stroud

Tom Jarman, from Selsley in Gloucestershire, is Excel's host, and says the situation is difficult.

"The only work he can do is very low-paid work at the moment," he said.

"It means he is finding it difficult to find somewhere to move out."

Dr Ezeh thinks more could be done to keep Ukrainian medics in the UK.

"It's not really difficult," he said.

"The GMC should increase the intake for those willing to take the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) tests."

A statement from the GMC said: "We are waiting for more information from Excel on his refugee status."

It added that additional measures to help refugees were being taken, including "giving priority places for the test Excel is waiting for".

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