NHS 10,000 Doctors Short: DAUK calls directly upon the Home Secretary to address Health Service Immigration Crisis

The Doctors’ Association UK has noted with great trepidation and concern, the potential for an abrupt reversal of the exemption placed on foreign doctors from Tier 2 Visa caps. This was inferred from a letter from Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, to the Migration Advisory Committee, which was reported on 11th October 2018.

In previous correspondence with the Home Secretary, The Doctors’ Association UK has outlined the negative impact of some 100,000 vacancies in frontline clinical services across the NHS. With almost 10,000 vacant posts on medical rotas in both primary and secondary care, DAUK felt that it was imperative to convey the strength of concern within the profession. In our campaign, Scrap the Cap, DAUK has highlighted the destructive effect of the Tier 2 Visa caps on the work of the NHS, and the extent to which UK doctors are reliant on colleagues from outside of the EU.

The Doctors’ Association UK has also highlighted personal stories of doctors who had been adversely affected by the Tier 2 Visa caps. Many of these doctors had already been established in the country over a period of many years, having made a long term commitment to working in the NHS. The significance of the disruption to the lives of these NHS doctors and their families, and indeed their patients, cannot be understated.

In June 2018, The Doctors’ Association UK were delighted to hear news from The Home Office that NHS doctors and nurses were to be exempted from Tier 2 Visa caps. This decision demonstrated both a willingness on part of the government to recognise the severity of the NHS staffing problem, and a sincere intention to rectify the situation. The reprieve and positivity generated by this decision, and the practical implementation of this change in policy was gratefully welcomed by frontline healthcare professionals working in the NHS.

On behalf of The Doctors’ Association UK, Dr Neil Tiwari, DAUK Editor, has today written to the Home Secretary, asking for him to establish the rationale behind a retrospective qualification to the Tier 2 Visa exemption. DAUK has strongly urged the Home Secretary to ensure that the security and stability that has been created is not compromised.

In order to protect the safety of our patients and the welfare of our NHS colleagues from outside the EU, as well as their families, The Doctors’ Association UK has requested the Home Secretary to not consider reversing the exemption of NHS doctors from Tier 2 Visa caps, and to offer his immediate assurances in this regard.

The full text of the letter sent to the Home Secretary, The Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid, MP can be found below. All other queries relating to the content of this press release, and any other points of clarification ought to be directed in the first instance via email, or to Dr Adrian Harrop, Media Officer for The Doctors’ Association UK via email - contact@dauk.org.