Fast growing authoritative information portal in Africa,

How can I practice medicine from Nigeria to the UK?

Are you a Nigerian doctor who wants to practice medicine in the UK? If yes, you’re on the right page, as we’ve put together a simple guide to assist you.

The UK remains one of the countries where doctors receive handsome paychecks. While it’s an ultra-serious profession that involves lives, doctors can only perform well if they’re valued.

Many Nigerian doctors complain of not being paid enough, and that the government doesn’t value their expertise.

Consequently, the lot of them move to the UK every year to seek better pay and insurance. Here are the things you need to do to practice medicine from Nigerian to the UK. 

Register with the UK GMC

The National Health Service (NHS) is the largest single source of employment in the United Kingdom and is a government agency. The General Medical Council (GMC) serves as the governing body.

As a result, you need GMC registration to work for the NHS or any private healthcare organization if you’re coming from Nigeria. 

Numerous options exist for getting your GMC, and your present medical credentials will determine which path you pursue.

The General Medical Council registration process is in place to guarantee that all UK doctors are up to par with what is needed to practice medicine.

All doctors who want to work in the UK must register with the General Medical Council (GMC), abide by its good medical practice advice, and be subject to its Fitness to Practise procedures.

Note that having GMC registration is not a guarantee of a job in the UK. 

Take The Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test

The PLAB exam is for people who got their medical degree from a school outside of the United Kingdom, the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland.

In other words, since you got your medical degree in Nigeria, you must take the PLAB exam. The exam has two sections, both of which you must complete successfully.

The first section consists of a three-hour test that can be taken online in Nigeria. However, the second takes place in London, the United Kingdom. To do this, you might need a visitor’s visa to go to the UK for a short time.

Take The IELTS or OET Test

High proficiency in spoken and written English is mandatory, in addition to passing the PLAB. This has always been a debate for Nigerian applicants since Nigeria speaks English as its official language.

Nevertheless, the UK government has yet to waive the English proficiency requirement for Nigerians. The GMC recognizes two separate English language tests: the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET).

In comparison to the IELTS, which measures general English proficiency, the OET evaluates candidates’ ability to communicate in English within the healthcare industry. Hence, it’s more suitable to take the OET exam.

Get Your Practicing License

To legally practice medicine and do tasks that are only allowed for doctors, such as writing prescriptions and notarizing death certificates, all doctors must be registered with a license.

All doctors in the UK who are employed full or part-time, permanently or temporarily, in the NHS or the independent sector are required to hold a license to practice, which is granted by the General Medical Council (GMC).

In addition, this includes all types of registration, from provisional to complete, as well as the specialized and GP registers.

Doctors who are registered but not licensed may be in the academic field or practicing medicine outside of the UK. They are legally barred from carrying out any clinical activity in the UK.

Hence, in order to practice medicine from Nigeria to the UK, you must submit an application for registration with your license. If they don’t have a valid license, their application for registration will be turned down.

Before applying for licensure, be sure you have the required main medical qualification. Fortunately, the UK accepts MBBS graduates from most Nigerian universities.

Furthermore, don’t forget that you’ll need to apply for a visa to go to the UK.

The good news, however, is that you can easily obtain a UK Health and Care Worker visa in Nigeria if you have a job offer.

What To Know About Working as a Doctor in the UK

The National Health Service (NHS) ensures that all UK citizens have access to high-quality healthcare and other wellness programs. When it comes to payment, the majority of public healthcare systems rely on tax revenue rather than bill patients directly.

Primary care and secondary care are the two main types of healthcare offered by the NHS.

General physicians (GPs) work in the community to provide primary care. Except in cases of urgency, patients cannot directly access secondary care facilities without a primary care physician’s referral.

Hospitals are the primary sites for secondary care. Each patient is assigned a specialist by their primary care physician and stays under that physician’s care from the time of admission (for inpatients) or transfer (for outpatients) until release.

The secondary care provided at hospitals is staffed by teams of doctors from various specialties. A wide variety of scientific and technical experts may be a part of these teams as well as consultants, residents, non-training doctors—such as staff grades and associate specialists—nurses, midwives, therapists, and allied healthcare professionals.

Bottom Line

It can be difficult to adjust to life and work in Britain as a doctor if you received your medical education in Nigeria. Nevertheless, it’s doable, and you can scale it through with the info in this post.