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ss CMF news - spring/summer 2007,  Mission Matters

Mission Matters

Keeping in touch and ongoing intercession for members working abroad

Elective Days

CMF Days were held in Leeds and London during March. As always, these were evaluated highly but numbers were down. Less formal elective events have been held in Norwich, Brighton and Belfast (and no doubt elsewhere). We would encourage such events within medical schools regionally and the National Student Committee will rethink the need for national events. The overseas desk is always available to advise and help.

Publications

The new guide to preparing for a medical elective is available at www.healthserve.org/electives/preparing/. Working Abroad, the new edition of the Missions Handbook, extensively rewritten and updated, will be available soon. The new Developing Health CD Rom will be ready for July.

Developing Health Course (DHC) UK

1-13 July 2007. Details at: www.healthserve.org/developing_ health . Both the brochure and booking forms can be downloaded. Please make this known to any interested in working abroad. The RCP has accredited the course with 50 credits for full attendance.

Cancellation of HealthServe Day

Due to the impending office move, the HealthServe Day that was to be held on 7 July at Oak Hill has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule either later this year or in 2008.

Good news:

Free access to NHS care for those working as missionaries overseas. You might have thought that our members working overseas were entitled to free NHS care when they were on home assignment in the UK, but for a long time this has not been the case. However, the NHS Charges to Overseas Visitors Regulations 1989 were recently amended by Parliament to the effect that:

Anyone who is working outside the UK as a missionary for an organisation with its principal place of business in the UK will be fully exempt from NHS charges. This is regardless of whether they derive a salary or wage from the organisation, or receive any type of funding or assistance from the organisation for the purposes of working overseas.

These changes came into effect in England on 15 January 2007. For further information, contact: Martin Campbell, Department of Health. Tel: 0113 254 5174 or email: martin.campbell@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

The value of time spent overseas may soon be more widely recognised, pension rights maintained and appraisal and re-entry to the NHS made easier. These recommendations by Lord Crisp (previously NHS CEO) in a report Global Health Partnerships, published in March, could make things significantly easier for those considering taking time out to work abroad, leading both to recognition of their work and aiding re-entry into the NHS. The full document can be found at www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/ghp.pdf.

Appraisal and re-entry procedures have been the subject of debate in the BMJ recently and members have been contributing. See www.bmj.com and also a BBC link at news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ health/6109896.stm.

Courses

Redcliffe College, Gloucester - a workshop entitled Preparing families for life overseas to be held on Saturday 13 October from 10.30-4. Cost £20/£35 per couple. Crèche available. Details: www.redcliffe.org.

Experience mission in India or climb Mt Kenya – SIM offer a 3-week field trip to observe and experience healthcare in a cross-cultural setting at Duncan Hospital in Raxaul, north India from 28 September-20 October, to be led by CMF member Peter Jackson and his wife Ruth. Orientation weekend planned for 31 August. Cost ~ £1,200. Details at teams@sim.co.uk.

Lawyers Christian Fellowship are looking for a doctor to accompany a group of sponsored climbers of Mt Kenya in mid to late September in aid of their Legal Aid work. It would be appreciated if the doctor could also raise sponsorship but help might be forthcoming. Contact Christine John at international@lawcf.org.


PRIME - Partnership in International Medical Education

At the PRIME Tutor Day in March, Baroness Caroline Cox was welcomed as a new Patron. As Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, vice- President of the RCN and Director of Christian relief charity HART, she brings both affirmation and fresh insights. In an inspiring address she spoke of the enormous persecution Christians are under in certain areas of the world, and encouraged tutors to strengthen doctors and nurses there with both practical support and education.

PRIME is now active in around 20 countries, so we need additional tutors and additional finance. God is opening up more opportunities in countries as diverse as Sierra Leone and Czech Republic, Russia and Nepal. Doors are open now that may soon be shut. No longer is PRIME's main focus primary care only, though this is still important. Do sign up whatever your clinical or related discipline, and do please make PRIME part of your regular giving.

Here, there is fresh interest in including spirituality in the medical and nursing schools' curricula and Christians mustn't leave this to others. In Brighton on 4-5 June PRIME is hosting a conference for all Christian healthcare teachers to discuss how the spiritual aspects of whole person care should best be taught. Contributors include Sam Leinster, Dean of East Anglia, Barbara Parfitt, Dean of Nursing in Glasgow and Richard Vincent, associate Dean at Brighton. This should be a defining conference of potentially national significance and help equip anyone with any teaching responsibility in UK or overseas.

Details on all the above from info@prime-international.org.uk.

John Geater is International Director of PRIME

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