Call for medic jobs to get special treatment after Brexit
JUNIOR doctors and all physician posts should be added to a list of occupations in short supply to ensure vacancies can be filled after Brexit, doctors warn.
Leaders of medical royal colleges in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London called on the UK Government to make special provision to increase the number of foreign doctors who can work in the UK in a bid to avoid a spike in vacancies after the UK exits the EU in March.
They were responding to a consultation by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on what occupations should be included in their Shortage Occupation List (SOL).
The list consists of all roles deemed by government to be in short supply in the UK resident labour market. As a result, the occupations have a more relaxed immigration criteria so employers are not required to show they have tried to recruit from within the UK before they hire someone from abroad.
The list was first drawn up in 2008 and includes a number of medical professions, including psychiatrists and obstetricians.
However, doctors’ leaders want SOL to apply to all physician posts “for a defined period of time” after Brexit in order to provide stability for the NHS during a potentially turbulent time.
They added that Acute Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine physician posts should be added to the shortage list “in their own right based on the significant evidence that these specialties are in national shortage”.
The Colleges also called on the migration committee to consider making a recommendation that junior doctors in the first two years of foundation training after graduation from medical should be added to the SOL.
There has been widespread concern among NHS leaders over the impact of Brexit on the health service, both in terms of vacancies if EU workers return home and shortages of drugs.
President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Professor Derek Bell, said: “We’ve come together with the other royal colleges to make the positive case for allowing doctors to come and work in the UK, as we believe that this is vital if we’re to address the workforce challenges within the NHS that our membership faces each day.”
Prof Jackie Taylor, President of the Royal College of Physicians in Glasgow, said: “It’s vital that we take action to address the long-term workforce challenges in the NHS.”
Royal colleges want special immigration rules for physicians.