1 January, 2005
1. There is, at present, no requirement for doctors or nurses from overseas to undergo medical tests in order to join their professional register in the United Kingdom. Yet there has been a very rapid increase in the numbers arriving to work here, including many from countries with high prevalence rates of serious diseases. Compulsory screening should now be introduced for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and Hepatitis B before medical staff are recruited from overseas.
Overseas Medical Professionals
2. The Governments policy of rapidly increasing the numbers of front-line medical staff working in the NHS has led to large-scale recruitment from overseas.
3. In 2002/03, over 40 per cent of the 31,775 nurses joining the register were from abroad  whilst in 2003, nearly three quarters of the 15,549 doctors who joined the register qualified outside the UK .
4. The tables below show the top ten source countries for doctors and nurses respectively, from outside the EU , joining the register, in the most recent year available (2003 for doctors; 2002/03 for nurses). Prevalence rates for HIV , tuberculosis  and Hepatitis B  are shown for these countries, as well as for the UK, by way of comparison.Doctor