Immigration cap could impact NHS, says BMA

The government should rethink its plans to introduce an immigration cap to take into account the impact the changes will have on the NHS, the chairman of the BMA's International Committee has said.

Dr John: UK relies on doctors from outside the EU to fully staff the NHS
Dr John: UK relies on doctors from outside the EU to fully staff the NHS

Responding to the Home Affairs Committee report on the immigration cap out today, Dr Terry John said the government’s plans to introduce an annual cap on immigration have been ‘rushed through’.

He outlined that the UK relies on doctors from outside the EU to fully staff the NHS.

Dr John said: ‘The BMA shares the Home Affairs Committee’s concerns that the immigration cap has been rushed through with insufficient attention to how it will work in practice.

‘The interim cap on skilled migration has already made it more difficult for employers to secure sufficient sponsorship certificates to meet their workforce needs. The imposition of a permanent cap is likely to make the problem worse.’

Dr John also raised concerns that international graduates from UK medical schools may be forced to discontinue their training.

He said: ‘It is estimated that around 500 international medical students graduate from UK medical schools each year. These doctors are already factored into workforce planning and it would be a huge loss to the NHS if they were not able to work in the UK.’

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