South Asian Doctors in South Wales: An Example of Medical Migration

DEPT/SUBJECT AREA - Modern History 

SUPERVISOR(S) - Dr Michael Bresalier and Professor Martin Johnes 


THESIS TITLE - South Asian doctors in south Wales: Medical Migration and the Changing Provision of General Medical Practice in the Welsh Valleys, 1948-1980.


Following the introduction of the NHS in 1948, it gradually became apparent that there was a shortage of doctors, particularly working in socially deprived areas. From 1960 -1980, many doctors travelled from the Indian subcontinent to the UK to find temporary work in an attempt to gain greater expertise. However, a proportion of these decided to remain, settle in south Wales and become general practitioners. Hence life and work in Britain for them and their families may have differed from their expectations.

My thesis will attempt to uncover the reasons behind the doctors’ decision to settle permanently, why they became general practitioners, and how this choice affected their lives. It will also explore the impact of their migration on the communities in which they worked.

The story of these doctors adds a further dimension to the social history of medical migration, and highlights the valuable contribution of migrant south Asian doctors to general practice in Wales.


  • ‘July 1948, a New Dawn in Wales- but was it? How the NHS evolved- an historical perspective’. Wales Deanery conference July 2018.

  • ‘Commonwealth for health: Asian GPs in south Wales- the story so far’. Llafur conference July 2018.

  • ‘Commonwealth for health: Asian GPs in south Wales- how my study may be influenced by Memory and Identity’. PhD conference, Swansea University, October 2018

  • ‘How the NHS evolved- an historical perspective’. ‘The NHS is Born’ Swansea University, November 2018

  • ‘Asian doctors in south Wales: was there a welcome in the hillside?’ Gwent Archives Conference April 2019