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    Monday, 02 July 2018 16:45
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    Friday, 22 June 2018 16:07
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    Tuesday, 19 June 2018 17:53
  • Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

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    Friday, 15 June 2018 18:39
  • England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

    England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

    Tuesday, 12 June 2018 12:03

a arrivals imageJune 6 2018

The Royal College of General Practitioners has called for visa regulations to be reviewed to allow more doctors to work as GPs in the NHS.


Home Secretary Sajit Javid announced on Sunday that key parts of the UK’s immigration policy will be reviewed. This week, the RCGP said he should “act rapidly in overhauling immigration rules.”

In a letter to Mr Javid, RCGP Chair Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard has outlined “the intense resource pressures facing general practice and the barriers preventing the recruitment of overseas GPs,” and has warned that the Government’s target of attracting 5,000 more GPs by 2020 is looking “increasingly difficult to achieve.”

Asking him to put “human beings and common sense over policy and process,” she has also highlighted the restrictive policies which are preventing appropriately trained doctors from practising in the UK at a time of GP shortages. 

She has proposed that:

  • GPs should be added to the Migration Advisory Committee’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL) – there is currently an overall cap on migrants which is restricting the number of GPs moving to the UK to work, and additionally, a Resident Labour Market Test must be carried out for vacancies, “despite clear workforce shortages across the UK”;
  • urgent action is needed to reduce the burdens of red tape and heavy financial costs that are preventing GP practices from employing GPs.

The College’s letter also stresses the “desperate need for more GPs to be able to work in the UK so that patients can continue to receive care in their local communities.”

The BMA has also responded to the Home Secretary’s comments around reviewing the Tier 2 visa cap. 

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “We welcome the Home Secretary’s announcement to review Tier 2 visa allocations, further to extensive lobbying from the BMA and other bodies to end arbitrary visa caps which are preventing competent overseas doctors from working in an overstretched NHS with a serious shortage of medical staff.” 

“It is important that the Home Secretary now acts swiftly with a practical solution, so that the NHS can recruit the several hundreds of available overseas doctors who can start work imminently to ease pressure in a health service under escalating strain.”

Links:
RCGP statement           
BMA statement            

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