How Indian doctors saved the NHS

In 1963 the Conservative Health Minister Enoch Powell launched a campaign to recruit Indian doctors to save the NHS from an impending staffing crisis. Ironically, a few years later Powell warned Britain of the “rivers of blood” caused by the influx of foreign workers.

 By the mid-sixties more than 18,000 doctors had arrived in Britain. Most of them dreamt of working in advanced teaching hospitals. But there was a shock waiting for them.

They were shepherded to either crime and unemployment ridden inner city areas or the small rural communities, where English doctors were reluctant to go.  

nhsdocsThese ‘strangely named doctors’ – Krishnamurthis, Bhattacharyas and Bodiwalas – astonished many local people in the coal-mining areas of Wales, because so far the only black faces they had seen were those of miners coming out of the coal pits. This is an extra ordinary story of Indian doctors in UK.


Extract from a BBC documentary ‘ From Raj To Rhondda – How Indian Doctors Saved The NHS’

Peter Sellers and TV chat shows made fun of their thick English accent. A piece of advice:

How to describe unmentionable body parts such as buttocks.

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