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NHS Turns Its Back on Overseas Training Investment


Sudden changes to immigration rules mean NHS training is being closed to non-EU doctors without work permits, the BBC reports.

The government directive, introduced this month, will prevent doctors and dentists from outside the EU from automatically seeking training placements in the UK.

Campaigners say they have been “betrayed” by the changes that could leave thousands unemployed.

The government says it is protecting positions for UK graduates as there are not enough jobs for every doctor.

For decades, non-EU dentistry and medical students have faced no visa restrictions to complete two years of training in junior NHS posts.

The scheme was launched to expand NHS provision. This led to Indian medics comprising 70% of doctors in some areas of the country.

The changes to immigration laws will restrict this intake, causing outrage from campaigners.

The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (Bapio) claims at least 15,000 doctors will leave the country without the skills they were originally encouraged to seek.

“The change in rules is an absolute betrayal. Many will now return home with debt but no diploma, no qualifications,” a spokesperson said.

Health minister Lord Warner told the BBC’s Today programme that the policy would improve training standards for UK doctors and increase availability for jobs.

“What we have done is make sure that we are becoming more self-sufficient in training our own doctors,” he said.

“There has been a 70% increase in the number of medical school intakes over the last seven or eight years and we have to find and ensure that there are post graduate specialist training posts.”

The Royal College of Physicians warned that medical skills would suffer as a result of the new rules.

“On completion of their training, many doctors returned home to practice. The spread of medical skills learnt in the UK is a tradition we have reason to be proud of.

“It is difficult to see how this can be maintained under the proposed arrangements,” it added.


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