International collaboration will see Indian doctors work in Wigan's hospitals

Doctors from India will work in Wigan’s hospitals in a new international collaboration to develop the global workforce.

It will see medics who wish to expand their clinical expertise spend a year working in hospitals in India and then two years in NHS hospitals, while studying a specialist Masters degree at Edge Hill University.

The Apollo International Clinical Fellowship Programme (ICFP) was launched by Apollo Education UK, in collaboration with Edge Hill University, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) and Global Training and Education Centre (GTEC).

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At an event to celebrate the new collaboration were Andrew Foster, non-executive director of Health Education England; Dr Sivaramakrishnan Venkateswaran, Apollo Knowledge CEO, Dr Muralidharan Manikesi, vice-president of Apollo Knowledge, Dr Madhan Thiruvengada, programme director for ICFP; Prof Raj Murali, from WWL and GTEC, and Dr Lakis Liloglou, from Edge Hill University

Clare Austin, dean of the faculty of health, social care and medicine at the university, said: “This is an important opportunity for our Master of surgery and Master of medicine programmes to support the recruitment and training of international doctors as part of our long-standing ‘earn, learn, excel and return’ scheme.”

The programme offers speciality pathways to doctors who have completed their medical degree in India.

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They will gain three years’ clinical experience, with mentorship at Apollo Hospitals in India before completing their learning within the NHS, while studying at Edge Hill.

They will be encouraged to return home afterwards to boost the Indian healthcare system.

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WWL’s chief executive Silas Nicholls said: "This is just one of many shining examples of how we work closely alongside Edge Hill and other education partners for the benefit of our community and the people of Wigan borough.

"This is an exciting opportunity in the development of international doctors, and we look forward to working in partnership with Edge Hill as the new doctors undertake their education journey."

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Prof Raj Murali, a consultant surgeon at Wrightington Hospital and clinical director of GTEC, said: “I am looking forward, greatly, to welcoming the newest cohort of doctors to the ICFP programme, particularly so across our specialities at WWL. The NHS is a wonderful institution in which to gain invaluable work experience from world- class mentors and the doctors on the course will certainly benefit from their time with us.”

Sivaramakrishnan Venkateswaran, CEO of Apollo Knowledge, said: “This is part of our global workforce development initiative to enable and provide education, training and recruitment job opportunities across geographies for healthcare professionals so that they get trained and upskilled and add value to themselves and their own healthcare systems.”