Immigration rules capping foreign medics will be relaxed
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.