Overseas doctors lack communication skills

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram They may speak fluent English but it’s their lack of communication skills that is lacking in overseas doctors and failing the medical field, an inquiry has heard. Federal House of Representatives Health and Ageing Committee, which is holding an inquiry into the registration and support of overseas doctors, was told that the overseas doctors, coming from all cultural backgrounds, were faced with a cultural shock when beginning work in Australia.Committee chair Steve Georganas MP told Neos Kosmos that the overseas doctors need more than just an English test, they need a communication test. “You can speak perfect English but if you are not communicating with people then you’ve got a problem,” said Georganas.“For example, we had a doctor who gave evidence from the UK who said in the UK you would never, ever get a patient calling you with the first name. If you are a specialist they will call you sir, if you are a doctor they will call you doctor, if you are a professor they will call you professor. “Whereas in Australia they will pat you on the back and say ‘how you going mate?’” A lot of overseas doctors are revered in their country, so there’s a cultural change as well and that’s what this communications test is all about.” The inquiry is looking into streamlining the process for overseas doctors and Georganas said that the committee want to do all they can to see the doctors come to Australia but at the same time “ensure we keep the high standards we have”. He said the committee will do all they can to assist the doctors in passing their exams, and if doctors fail, the committee will show them why and where they failed to make sure the next time they sit the exam they are better prepared. The inquiry will be completed by the end of the year, at which stage the committee will compile the evidence and come up with recommendations to be tabled in the parliament.last_img read more