RCSEd notes concern on postponement of the Immigration Bill 2019-21

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19 Jan 2021

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh notes with concern the postponement of the second reading of the Immigration (Health and Social Care Staff) Bill 2019-21 today. This Bill would grant indefinite right to remain to those overseas doctors who have been serving on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic. The College has been calling for more certainty for migrant doctors since the earliest days of the pandemic as part of our International Doctors Manifesto. 

28.5% of NHS doctors come from outside the UK, serving with distinction during the current crisis. To have many of these clinicians threatened with deportation with the pandemic yet to hit its peak is an insult to them, their NHS colleagues, patients and to the British public – who overwhelmingly support our hard-working medical professionals.

Our migrant doctors answered Britain’s call during this crisis with skill and aplomb. It is time for the government to show the nation’s gratitude for their service with something more than warm words and doorstep applause.

Many doctors come to the UK for a limited period to undergo training and gain experience which they can then use in their home countries. We therefore have some concerns that the Bill may unintentionally undermine the healthcare services of developing nations. However, it is essential that doctors have some certainty and they are given the opportunity for this Bill to be discussed.

We encourage lawmakers to give time at the earliest possible moment for the deliberation and consideration of this Bill and would welcome the opportunity to discuss our concerns and any potential amendments to it.


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