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BMA Conference Sunday, 30 June, 2002, 23:51 GMT 00:51 UK
'My battle to work in the NHS'
Dr Vujovic is happy in her job in Barnsley
Dr Vujovic is happy in her job in Barnsley
Zorica Vujovic worked as a doctor in Bosnia, but when she came to the UK as a refugee in 1996, it was three years before she could resume her career.

As the British Medical Association debates the waste of the skills of refugee doctors at its annual conference in Harrogate, BBC News Online looks at how she achieved her aim of working in the NHS.


Dr Zorica Vujovic now works as a junior doctor at Barnsley General Hospital, in South Yorkshire.

In Bosnia, she had worked in a surgical department for three years after qualifying.

But she was forced to flee during the war.

When she arrived in the UK she found it impossible to believe she would work as a doctor again.

Dr Vujovic is happy in her job in Barnsley
Dr Vujovic is happy in her job in Barnsley
"I found myself in this country and couldn't speak English. I didn't know what my future was going to be.

"I started learning English. After a year and a half I passed my exam. I got on a course for medical English.

"I met a group of people in London who were organising a course for foreign doctors."

She added: "My diploma wasn't fully recognised. I had to take exams."

'More recognition'

Once she had passed her exams, Dr Vujovic thought it would be easy to get a job. But she had more hurdles to cross.

"The General Medical Council want you to have a number but they don't give you a number until you've taken a job."

She has been able to find a job, but she says friends have not been so lucky.

"I had two friends who came here about six months before me.


I didn't know what my future was going to be.

Dr Zorica Vujovic
"They've gone into different jobs, one is a pharmacologist, and they are not working with patients.

"Things are easier for refugee doctors these days. I think there is more recognition that foreign doctors can give you a lot of help."

Change

"In my interview at Barnsley General Hospital, the consultant said 'I feel that you need a chance, and I hope that I can give you that chance'. I hope he doesn't regret his decision.

"The NHS is completely different to working in Bosnia.

"I like the way you can change your job every six months and get around and see different things.

"Back home, you are stuck in the same job for a long time."

Dr Vujovic has recently bought a house in Barnsley and hopes to stay there. She says she is feels "very content".

Full coverage of the BMA conference 2002

Day Three

Day Two

Day one

Personal stories

TALKING POINT
See also:

02 Oct 01 | Health
08 Nov 98 | Health
10 Aug 01 | Health
Internet links:


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