Hundreds doctors on the NHS, of Indian origin, are planning a demonstration outside the Department of Health on Friday to protest against recent changes to immigration laws. The change may hit up to 15,000 international medics.
The Guardian explains:
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants said that an estimated 15,000 international trainee doctors seeking posts or working on short-term contracts will be unable to complete their training and be forced to go home because of a law brought in as part of last month’s overhaul of immigration, which ruled that junior doctors from outside the EU should only be eligible for jobs that cannot be filled by a “homegrown” candidate.
Dr Billoo Joy, from Kerala, India, came to England two years ago, and is on a two-year contract in Norwich which will not be renewed. “I am still around Â£2,000 in debt from doing my Plab [the test to allow doctors to practise in the UK] and paying rent. It’s been a real struggle. I didn’t expect further uncertainty.
“If I had been told four years ago that this would have been the case I never would have come, but now if I go back to India I will have lost that training and will have to start again with no hope of paying off my debts. Before it was difficult to get a job. Now it’s impossible.”
While I see the need to encourage home-grown doctors, the government has quickly passed the law without any regard for the doctors already here. They are left stranded, unable to finish their terms or pay off debts, because employers have been told to overlook them.
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