PULSE: Recently qualified GPs are receiving deportation letters soon after completing their medical training, the professional development vice chair of the RCGP has told MPs today.
New doctors are ‘literally going from celebrating the fact that they’ve become a GP to receiving letters threatening them with deportation’, Dr Margaret Ikpoh told the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee during an evidence session on the future of general practice.
Pulse revealed in April 2022 that up to 1,000 overseas GPs could be at risk of being deported despite completing their UK training because of complex immigration rules that mean they are unable to extend their visas.
The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) said it is ‘utterly appalled’ that newly-qualified GPs face deportation despite having completed their GP training in the UK and are left ‘in limbo’ with this threat ‘hanging over them’.
DAUK spokesperson Dr Dolin Bhagawati said: ‘This simply defies belief and demonstrates the siloed thinking that is present in Government when it comes to NHS staffing. These doctors, who worked during the pandemic, are ideally placed to help address the problems faced by a dramatically understaffed GP service currently.
‘Yet the Government’s immigration stance runs counter to alleviating this simple immigration issue. A Parliamentary Bill to give Indefinite Leave to Remain to all NHS workers that worked during the pandemic has been repeatedly kicked into the long grass. Despite being a simple measure to implement, the Government have chosen to embrace foolish bureaucratic madness rather than take measures to address a crippling NHS shortage.’
DAUK co-chair Dr Ellen Welch added: ‘We are short of thousands of GPs in the UK and desperately need these doctors to stay and work in the NHS.
‘If the Government is serious about bolstering the workforce then they need to take immediate action to ensure these doctors are not deported and are granted indefinite leave to remain to use their skills within our crumbling health service.’
Listen to our Five Live appearance here