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Missing medical professionals causes concern


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UPDATED

13 DEC 2018


Immigration is a hot topic these days in the United Kingdom, and a lot of people are realising that the NHS is going to be affected. While the Brexit debate rages on, even though we are no closer to finding out what is likely to happen, it is natural that many medical professionals have concerns over their employment future in the country.

However, it is not just Brexit that causes concern, there is an issue for more than 160 GPs who may face deportation. A total of 161 GPs, all newly qualified and hailing from countries outside of the European Union is still unknown. This comes five months after the initial concerns were raised that some of the professionals could face deportation.

A lack of information causes problems for the NHS

NHS England claims to have assisted over 60 of these professionals in the summer, helping them to secure visas. However, a spokesperson for NHS England states that they are unaware of how many of these professionals have managed to obtain a job.

It was also stated that the organisation has lost contact with around 100 of these professionals. This has raised concern that some, or many, of these professionals, may have left the country. There are also fears that some of these professionals may have been deported.

There was a leaked email this summer with NHS England contacting GP surgeries to request that they act as a sponsor for these GPs. The medical professionals were due to finish their training in July of this year and required visa sponsorship to work in the United Kingdom. The email states that there were more than 400 eligible students who were set to qualify but NHS England has backtracked on this figure. It is now being claimed that the total number of students without a visa stood at 161.

The best medical professionals make a massive difference

A spokesperson for NHS England stated; “NHS England nationally contacted all 161 GP trainees on visas qualifying in 2018/19 with over 60 responding and being supported with advice, visa costs and help finding practices that hold visa sponsorship licences. We will continue to support both other non-EEA trainees, due to qualify over the next few years, and practices with obtaining sponsorship licences.”

On being questioned about the whereabouts of these medical professionals, the spokesperson added; “We are not aware of any who had to leave the country against their will. We helped 60 and the others we don’t know. Some may have been going anyway. Some may still be here because they’ve set their own visas up.”

The Home Office has also released a statement, saying; “We recognise the very valuable work that international medical professionals, including doctors, GPs and nurses contribute to our NHS and wider health sector and we continue to welcome those coming to work or study in these fields. Sponsorship is a key element of the current immigration work routes and provides assurances that specific individuals are being directly employed into an appropriate role paying an appropriate salary.”

Given the demand for medical professionals in the UK, this is an issue that needs resolving as quickly as possible. At Atlantis Medical, we aim to provide as much support as we can, but there is a need for a concerted effort to support the NHS.

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