Published: 31/10/2002, Volume II2, No. 5829 Page 5

British consultants' attitudes are proving a major obstacle to the Department of Health international recruitment campaign, according to a DoH adviser.

The campaign, launched in summer 2001, aims to recruit 1,000 GPs and hospital specialists, but so far only 60 doctors have been appointed.

Dr Alberto Ramirez, a consultant anaesthetist in England and medical advisor to the DoH, said: 'Consultants would rather appoint a local person or not appoint at all, to keep their share of the pie, ' he said.

Speaking at a conference on international recruitment of doctors on Tuesday, he said there were also problems with royal colleges not recognising the experience of doctors trained overseas.

Dr Steve Atherton, another DoH adviser on international recruitment, said the NHS would not meet its targets over the next few years without overseas doctors, but the local workforce had not really woken up to that.

'There is a view that UK doctors are the best and people stick to that.'

Consultant contract vote The result of the British Medical Association ballot on the new consultant contract is due to be announced today. It is widely expected to be rejected in England and probably Wales.

A 'yes'vote is expected in Scotland, and possibly Northern Ireland.