Ministers Urged to Bring in More Foreign Doctors
Labour has made the move to make the most out of the cabinet split over the refusal to issue work visas to foreign doctors in order to work in Britain. They are now urging the ministers to remove the limit on all health professionals from the skilled workers cap so as to address the present staffing crisis that is going on in the NHS.
This move comes after there have been reports of how the urging by senior ministers to change some of the immigration rules got rejected by Theresa May. The call would have made it possible for more doctors overseas to be able to get in the UK and help alleviate the present staff shortages in the NHS which seems to be worsening, a sentiment that David Hill Chief Executive, who has considerable experience helming an NHS trust and other similar organisations in the past, also shares.
Shadow health secretary from Labour, Jon Ashworth, is demanding for the separate treatment of nurses, doctors, as well as other healthcare staff from other foreign skilled workers that are aiming to come to the country. It should be noted that there is a workers cap that is being implemented at present. When approved, this should help make it possible for more of these healthcare professionals to come to the country and cover the ever-widening gaps in the NHS workforce.
Ashworth, in a letter to the new home secretary, Sajid Javid, warned that the ban imposed on about 400 doctors that are presently taking up posts in the NHS since December shows the hostile environment policy that the government has put in place. Since the ban regulates the number of people that can come in and fill roles when a worker shortage occurs, it is clear that this is now damaging the patient care services that the NHS is offering.
The medics, which include 100 that are from India, were supposed to start their work in hospitals in the north-west of the country. However, they were refused entry despite the fact that NHS trusts have stated that they are needed in order to fill up their respective wards. They were not issued working visas due to the fact that there are only too few places that are available based on what is stated in the cap system that is presently in effect. The system imposes limitations on the number of skilled migration every month to just 1,100 and the number should not exceed by 2,200. Together, the figures must also not go beyond 20,700 people every year.
The letter further urged Javid to overhaul the system even through radical means so as to benefit the NHS in the process. At present, NHS patients are left without appropriate care due to the shortage of medical professionals. The lifting of the ban is expected to help address this issue. Ashworth also stated that it is clear that the rules imposed on visas are not working to the benefit of the NHS patients, and hence, must be changed.
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