Visa

Scrap the Cap: The NHS doctor unable to train as a GP due to visa caps

The Doctors' Association UK is supporting Dr Iqra Akhtar, an NHS doctor, who may not be able to take up a GP training post due to visa caps. Dr Akhtar has been in the UK working in the NHS for year, and has successfully applied for GP training. To take up her post Dr Akhtar resigned her post as a non-training staff grade to move to Preston and was required to switch to unrestricted Tier 2 visa. This has now been refused. 

Dr Akhtar is now residing in the UK on a spousal visa, and is waiting to hear from the Home Office after her Trust re-applied for a tier 2 visa. If her visa continues to be refused Dr Akhtar will be unable to take up her post to start training as a GP. Speaking to DAUK she expressed frustration that visa caps were designed to reduce immigration, yet she is already resident. 

Dr Akhtar told DAUK "the visa caps are affecting my career. I planned to start my GP training; having worked in the NHS and being a resident in the UK I did not anticipate this was going to affect me. This is very discouraging for doctors, especially those aspiring to work in the NHS."

Dr Akhtar also added that visa caps will adversely impact rota gaps.

The Doctors' Association UK has written to Dr Akhtar's MP Sir Mark Kendrick and asked him to take up Dr Akhtar's case with the Home Office. 

This week, DAUK wrote to Sajid Javid warning of the impact of visa caps on general practice. The letter was published in The Independent. Speaking to Sky News, DAUK Chair Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden said:

"What we've been hearing about at The Doctor's Association UK are cases of doctors currently working in the UK, who have been training the UK, in specialities such as General Practice which is short across the frontlines...and because of visa issues they are being asked to leave.

Which is terrible for the NHS when we are so short of doctors but there is a real human cost for these doctors who have invested so much in training, in service to the NHS, who have made their homes here and are now being asked to leave"

 

Scrap the Cap: DAUK Chair interviewed on Sky News

Last night, DAUK Chair Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden was interviewed live on Sky News about the issue of Tier 2 visas and how it is affecting the NHS.

"What we are seeing as The Doctors' Association UK and frontline doctors are widespread shortages. We know that there are 10,000 vacancies across the NHS, yet 1500 visas have been denied to overseas doctors willing to fill those gaps.

What we've been hearing about at The Doctor's Association UK are cases of doctors currently working in the UK, who have been training the UK, in specialities such as General Practice which is short across the frontlines...and because of visa issues they are being asked to leave.

Which is terrible for the NHS when we are so short of doctors but there is a real human cost for these doctors who have invested so much in training, in service to the NHS, who have made their homes here and are now being asked to leave".

Dr Batt-Rawden also spoke out on the case of Dr Nnameka Chidumije, an NHS surgeon asked to leave the UK.

Watch the full interview below:

Live interview with Sky News Tuesday 5th May. Video courtesy of WatMed Media

Scrap the Cap: DAUK letter to Sajid Javid published in The Independent

Doctors told to leave UK after Home Office refuses to issue them visas

The Doctors' Association UK's letter to the home secretary was published in The Independent yesterday.