International projects – NHS Employers

Our programme recruits Colombian medical doctors who are looking for permanent positions in the NHS. No ongoing agency fees. No locums. No short-term fixes.

For more information on our Colombian recruitment drive, please contact  or +447831 194967


Colombian recruitment drive – information for employers

Verumed is excited to announce its flagship Colombian recruitment drive.
Between 2021 and 2022, we will be working with on-the-ground recruitment professionals to contact over 2000 medical professionals looking to train and work in Europe.

Verumed will be offering strategic recruitment and retention solutions to NHS Trusts, providing them with fully compliant medical doctors and specialists from Colombia.


Why Colombia?

  • Statistics from the GMC demonstrate that Colombian-trained doctors registered in the UK are safe, with sanction rates equivalent to those of British- and Indian-trained doctors;
  • Colombia is 77th in the English Proficiency Index ranking;
  • PMQ is similar to that of the UK: 5 – 6 years depending on the medical school, followed by an internship and two years of general/emergency medicine practice before enrolling into a specialty course.


Brief overview

NHS recruiters rarely conduct outreach programmes in South American nations.

A Freedom of Information survey of 66 NHS Trusts showed that, between 2016/17 to 2018/19, not one campaign took place in a South American nation (see figure 1 below). Recruitment activity is heavily concentrated in a handful of countries. India and the Philippines – the two most heavily targeted nations – both have fewer doctors per 1000 than recommended by the WHO (i.e., under 1:1000 – see figure 2 below).

Figure 1: Overseas recruitment campaigns, broken down by country

Country targeted Number of overseas recruitment campaigns waged from 2016/17 to 2018/19 by 66 NHS Trusts
Philippines 88
India 64
UAE 20
Ireland 14
Italy 14
Australia 13
Czech Republic 8
Spain 7
Portugal 3
Romania 2
Poland 2
New Zealand 2
Egypt 1
Greece 1
Croatia 1


Meanwhile, of the roughly 3,500 doctors who graduate each year from Colombian medical schools, roughly 6 percent find themselves unemployed. Access to specialty training is limited in Colombia, with only 800 posts offered each year. As a result, recently graduated Colombian doctors tend to take generalist posts for several years before specialising, and some look for opportunities to continue their studies abroad.

As demonstrated in figure 2 below, Colombia’s rate of physicians per 1000 of the population (2.2) is more than double the WHO’s recommended rate of 1 per 1000. It compares favourably with those of highly targeted countries like the Philippines (0.6), India (0.9) and the UAE (2.5).

Figure 2: Physicians per 1000 in Colombia compared with traditional NHS recruitment hotspots

Colombia has a number of world-class public and private universities offering medicine courses. Eight Colombian medical schools featured in the World University Ranking 2021, sharing comparable rankings to the University of Plymouth, Teesside University and Edge Hill University.

There are currently 191 doctors with Colombian primary medical qualifications (PMQs) registered with the GMC. This puts Colombia on par with other South American nations, as shown in figure 3 below. Colombia is the nation with the largest population in South America.

Figure 3: Doctors with South American PMQs, relative to nations’ populations

Country of PMQ Number of doctors registered with GMC Country population (millions)
Argentina 224 45.2
Chile 77 18.9
Colombia 191 50.8
Ecuador 28 17.4
Peru 69 33
Venezuela 125 28.5


Colombia ranks 77th in the English Proficiency Index ranking, putting it higher than Egypt (83rd). There are over 7000 doctors with PMQs from Egyptian medical schools on the GMC register. Verumed will be offering English language tuition packages through our partner organisations.


Over the next two years, Verumed is proud to be working with partners in Colombia to conduct an unprecedented outreach programme. By offering our consultancy services to candidates, we will open up the possibility for hundreds of Colombian medical doctors to fill shortage specialties in the NHS.

Colombia has eight world-class medical schools, and the supply of doctors is more than double the WHO recommended level of 1 per 1000 of the population, unlike in heavily targeted countries like India, where the supply of doctors relative to the population is dangerously low.

There are fewer than 200 Colombian doctors currently registered with the GMC, which can in part be explained by a lack of engagement on the part of UK recruiters. Those Colombian-trained doctors currently registered with the GMC are safe and are no more likely to have faced sanctions than their British- or Indian-trained counterparts.

We would particularly like to hear from NHS employers interested in engaging with the programme, as well as Colombian doctors already registered with the GMC.

For more information on our Colombian recruitment drive, please contact  or +447831 194967