In the wake of nearly 100 of Indian medics being, reportedly, denied a visa to enter the UK, some health chiefs in the country have reportedly claimed that the country’s hostile immigration laws are deteriorating the NHS staffing pressures, via stopping qualified doctors from abroad from landing in the country to do a job.
They added that the restrictions put on the figure of the visas offered to doctors from the nations outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are behind rota gaps & deferrals in patients getting care.
Available numbers reportedly show high vacancy figures for the NHS workers. As per a concerned person from the NHS, 400 cases of blocked visas since the month of December have surfaced. The 100 visas refused for Indian doctors were for a scheme in the North West that reportedly delivers low-ranking doctors to 30 NHS trusts.
In a letter addressed to the incumbent UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the concerned heath chiefs, reportedly wrote that the NHS has been strained to its very bounds, to a certain extent, thanks to a lack of medical manpower, even as it is difficult to figure how such a decision could have been taken.
They added that the NHS is depended on the important contribution made by the foreign doctors, who time and again work in some regions of medicine that are not easy to recruit to from the local manpower even as not having the right numbers of qualified doctors will certainly jeopardize patient care and safety.
Allegedly, the Tier 2 limit must be immediately revised with the reason being it is important that the UK runs a rather flexible immigration structure which enables the NHS to hire the required workers, to provide safe & high-quality care.
Another report says that high-ranking doctors from abroad appointed to fill key roles in UK hospitals are being prevented from taking up their jobs as their NHS wages are paltry under the immigration laws.
As per an update from the NHS, as high as 100,000 openings across the nation’s 234 acute, ambulance and mental health trusts are still be filled.
Reacting to the widespread criticisms, a Home Office spokesperson, however, reportedly stated that the system is in the interest of the nation. He added that when demand surpasses the monthly available share of Tier 2 (General) places, preference is given to those filling a deficiency or PhD-level professions. Another spokeswoman reportedly stated that it is possible to reply for the petitions rejected in over-subscribed months in future ones.
Significantly, the Home Office categorizes doctors as Tier 2 Visa candidates. Recruiters keen to hire from outside the EU have to submit an application for a Tier 2 Work Permit, under which some registered kinds of doctors may gain admission into the UK. Reportedly, the blocked doctors were not on the list.
Why puts the NHS under such high pressure?
Aged population: The UK has roughly over 1 million people who are over 65 years old even as it has led to a surge in the requirement for medical support.
Reductions made to budgets meant for social care: Though the NHS budget has been protected, social services for home helps & additional care have been cut by 11% over the course of the previous 5 years. It has resulted in historic levels of what is called “bedblocking”; individuals with no need for medical support in hospital are stuck there since they can’t be offered the needed support at home.
Scarcities of staff: Even as the number of hospital doctor & nurse numbers have jumped over the previous 10 years, they have failed to keep step with the increase in demand.
Lifestyle factors: Consuming a great deal of liquor, smoking, poor dietary habits with not enough fruit & vegetables, and not doing sufficient exercise are all important factors for getting sick and needing to depend on the UK health services. Increasing figures of overweight kids illustrate the issue is presently set to stay.