Call for medic jobs to get spe­cial treat­ment after Brexit

The Herald - - NEWS - HE­LEN MCAR­DLE

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.

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