Shortage of junior medicos in the UK is making the country to consider the recruitment of Indian doctors, as well as from other countries. As per the rules implemented in the year 2006, medicos from outside the European Union are not permitted to practice in England, and as a result of this the UK is facing shortages of doctors. And now this situation has led the new Coalition government to think about recruiting doctors from India and elsewhere.
The shortages of doctors made the country to shut down many hospitals, specialties and emergency divisions. Eventually, this has made the government to take such a step to recruit medicos from India and other outside EU countries. According to an Indian doctor who is working with the National Health Service, many Indian medicos who undergone training in the UK moved back to their native country after the immigration rules pertaining the medical professionals were tightened in 2006. Even though, the government is considering hiring medicos from India, many would not be interested because the rules also prevent them from staying for over 2 years in the UK, since such a short period would be of no help in making a career in the NHS.
Reportedly, the Department of Health has already consulted the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, and is seeking help to recruit many hundreds junior medicos from India. But, the move did not materialize due to tight visa regulations for non- European Union doctors.
Owing to the sharp shortages of doctors, the Department of Health is expressing its views of relaxing visa rules for Indians, as well as other non-European Union medicos. However, the UK’s Home Office has not yet indicated any sign of amendments to the visa policy. The home Office and the Immigration Departments are both committed to the new Coalition government’s plan to cut down the immigration level, by imposing annual limit on outside European Union professionals.
The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin has given the word to the Department pf Health to provide the required number of Indian doctors, however, with conditions. The condition is that the professionals would be permitted to stay and get training in the UK for 3-4 years, unlike the current provision of maximum 2 years.