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Government Must Prioritise Visa Reform to Prevent Doctor Staffing Crisis

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Following BBC reports that immigration rules continue to hamper Trusts’ ability to recruit overseas doctors, prompt government action from the new Home Secretary is vital to avoid further shortages at a time when the UK is facing a dearth of home-grown doctors. That’s according to Remedium Partners, a consultancy which specialises in the recruitment of overseas permanent doctors to ease the NHS’ reliance on locums.

Commenting, David Green, Co-Founder and Director of Remedium Partners, says:

“As the BBC article reveals, increasing numbers of overseas doctors are being prevented from starting work due to Tier 2 visas caps being reached. Consequently, we would like to see reform of the current visa system to include a much larger number of specialisms under the shortage occupation list.

“Under the current regime, specialities such as Acute and General Medicine – which include Gastroenterology, Geriatric, Respiratory and Stroke – are not defined as shortage occupations.  However doctors in these fields are in just as short supply – if not more so- as those that fall under the recognised shortage occupation lists like A&E, Radiology and Paediatrics.

“Prompt government reform will not only help alleviate immediate staffing shortages, but it will also help Trusts with long term workforce planning strategies to ensure they  have the talent they need to contend with future pressures such as the annual winter crisis and the UK’s rapidly ageing population.

“As a consultancy which solely focuses on sourcing permanent overseas doctors we are urging the government to do as much as possible to support this highly skilled talent pool access the NHS at a time when the number of UK medical students is rapidly decreasing.”