Letters, calls and emails: Terrorism will worsen lives of immigrant GPs

Dear Editor

I am a migrant doctor working in the NHS and I wish to draw your attention towards recent events allegedly involving foreign doctors in terror activities.

The woes faced by overseas doctors working in the NHS refuse to abate: first there were the immigration changes, then the MTAS fiasco and now the NHS-terror link.

Terrorism in any form must be condemned. It was shocking to see those highly educated people - the very people who are trained to save lives, to treat everyone with utmost kindness and to allay suffering - trying to bring death and misery.

Although the law will take its own course, there are fears of a backlash against overseas doctors, especially those from the subcontinent.

Recruitment reviews are planned. There are expected to be more robust criminal checks, and why not? But there is anxiety that it will make life more difficult for international graduates. Their difficulties in getting a job will increase; they may be viewed with suspicion because they come from a particular country or believe in a particular religion; in the worst scenario, their acceptability to patients might be questioned.

The contribution to the NHS by migrant doctors is immense and must not be forgotten or overshadowed by hopefully isolated incidents. Statements from the BMA have been timely and are most welcome.

While oversees doctors must be vigilant, our British colleagues need to appreciate this and stand shoulder to shoulder with migrant doctors.

Let us hope for better times ahead.

Dr Kamalpreet Singh Sidhu Newcastle.

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