Three-quarters of doctors struck off the medical register in 2012 were trained abroad.

Of 39 that were struck off to September, 29 had their primary medical qualification outside Britain, statistics from the General Medical Council show.

Of 285 struck off since 2008, 194 had their PMQ overseas, including 64 in India.

The Sunday Telegraph, which obtained the statistics using freedom of information laws, said they would add to concerns that NHS patients are not protected adequately from health professionals from countries where training is less rigorous than in the UK and from those who are unfamiliar with basic medical practices in Britain.

The figures show that since 2008, 669 doctors have been either struck off or suspended by the GMC. Of these, 249 were British and 420 trained abroad.

The newspaper said that one third of doctors on the register were trained abroad, and two thirds trained in Britain.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: “We absolutely acknowledge that when it comes to the serious end of the scale, those from overseas are more likely to appear, and we have set about a series of reforms to address this.”

These include reviewing the Performance and Linguistic Assessments Board test for overseas doctors and a pilot induction programme for all new doctors, which is due to start early in 2013