Is the Home Office blocking international doctors?

Is the Home Office blocking international doctors?

Recent limits imposed by the Home Office on the number of overseas medics have sparked outrage among foreign doctors. Reports from companies, such as BDI Resourcing, has raised concerns over 54 doctors who have recently accepted jobs in UK hospitals, only to arrive in the UK to be told that their certificate of sponsorship (CoS), a document necessary to work as a doctor, are “unavailable”. Junior doctors working in areas such as elderly care and surgeons are reported to be most affected.

Daniel Platts, director and general medicine specialist at BDI Resourcing wrote: “Since the annual allocation will not refresh until the end of March [2018] it seems reasonable to assume that by this time the NHS will have more than 100 vacant gaps that could (and should) be filled by these fully qualified and willing doctors. He also went on to say: “Perhaps more concerning, is that many of these doctors are now reassessing their whole plans to relocate to the UK, particularly as many face months of uncertainty whilst being out of work unless they sign contract extensions in their home countries.”

It is well known that the NHS relies on a steady stream of international healthcare professionals. To disrupt the stream without adequate compensation will invariably have a detrimental effect on NHS.

Some may argue that Home Office is in line with the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt’s statement in 2016 pledging a package of measures aimed at reducing the NHS’ reliance on foreign-trained medics after the UK leaves the European Union. Mr Hunt stressed that foreign-trained doctors do a “fantastic job” before adding “is it right to import doctors from poorer countries that need them while turning away bright home graduates desperate to study medicine?

What do you think? Is the Home Office intentionally blocking overseas qualified doctors?

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