Im­mi­gra­tion rules cap­ping for­eign medics will be re­laxed

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS POLITICS -

Im­mi­gra­tion rules cap­ping the num­ber of for­eign medics work­ing in the UK will be re­laxed to al­low the NHS to re­cruit more staff.

The Home Of­fice is ex­pected to ex­clude non-EU doc­tors and nurses from the visa limit which was in­tro­duced by Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May when she was home sec­re­tary.

The cap cur­rently re­stricts “tier two” visas for non-EU work­ers to 20,700 peo­ple per year, rules which have been crit­i­cised amid grow­ing pres­sures on the NHS and es­ca­lat­ing pa­tient de­mand.

The move would mean Home Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid has suc­ceeded in con­vinc­ing Mrs May, who has com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing net mi­gra­tion into Bri­tain to below 100,000 af­ter Brexit.

The Royal Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­ti­tion­ers said the news would be a “much-needed vic­tory for com­mon sense and pa­tient care”. Ear­lier this month, chair­woman Prof He­len StokesLam­pard urged Mr Javid to re­lax im­mi­gra­tion rules, warn­ing there were cases where for­eign GPs had been af­fected by the “hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment” poli­cies first brought in by Mrs May. The Bri­tish Med­i­cal Jour­nal said be­tween De­cem­ber 2017 and March 2018 more than 1,500 visa ap­pli­ca­tions from doc­tors with job of­fers in the UK were re­fused as a re­sult of the cap on work­ers from out­side the EU.

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