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14.02.18

Doctors repeat demand for clarity around EU visas post-Brexit

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has welcomed calls for further clarity on immigration following a Home Affairs Committee report published today.

The report recommended a review into tier two visas and criticised the lack of detail and certainty for EEA nationals which has come about party due to the UK’s EU referendum decision.

In January 2017, The Guardian reported that overseas senior doctors were being denied visas because their NHS salaries were too low for immigration rules.

RCP’s president, Prof Jane Dacre supported the recommendations for a review: “The RCP would encourage this review to specifically consider NHS recruitment. It’s vital that the NHS is able to continue to recruit talented professionals into an overstretched and understaffed system.

“The government must continue to provide reassurances that EU doctors will remain welcome and have their contribution to the NHS valued without having to jump through numerous hoops,” Dacre added.

Concern for low NHS staffing levels has partly been fuelled by uncertainty created by Brexit.

This week, NHE reported that the amount of trusts worried about Brexit affecting their workforce had doubled in a year, as plans to recruit doctors and nurses from the EU begin to look increasingly unlikely.

UK employers facing ‘huge challenges’

Cavendish Coalition co-convenor, Nadra Ahmed said that the report highlighted the “huge challenges” faced by UK employers and more detail was needed to ensure the health and social care system doesn’t lose anymore EU workers.

The report also criticised the Home Office’s delay for publishing the White Paper on Immigration and said that it meant “continued anxiety for individuals and heightens the prospect of UKVI having insufficient time to plan properly to deliver its services.”

Dr Andrew Dearden, British Medical Association treasurer, said: “This report throws serious doubt on the government’s ability to plan and deliver the proposed Brexit changes to immigration services.

“The EU referendum was well over 18 months ago now, and too many questions remain unanswered.”

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