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Troubled times for International Medical Graduates in UK

By Latest immigration news

New rules announced by health minister Lord Warner last month state that any doctor trained in a non-European Union country will now need a medical graduate work permit. The new legislation will take effect from July 1, 2006.

"International medical graduates are shocked and appalled by the new ruling by the National Health System to end work permit free training for doctors from outside the EU," said Peter Trewby the chairman of the Royal College of Physicians. Trewby went on to say that the changes to the medical employment system are sudden and brutal.

"Any NHS trust now willing to employ non-EU medical staff will have to prove that there is no home grown doctor able to fill the post," said the chairman. He fears that the announcement will cause hardship for many of those who have already started to climb the training ladder in British hospitals. Trewby also states that the NHS ruling will cause damage to the UK's reputation in countries that have supplied much of its medical labour force.

One such country that will feel the effects will be the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the association represents approximately 25,000 medics in the UK's NHS.

"The sudden ending of permit-free training and the introduction of work permits is the end of post-graduate training for IMGs in this country," said Dr Satya Hedge from (APIO).

There are two reasons behind the health ministry's decision to stop the work permit free training of post-graduates.

The first is to stem the flow of foreign trained doctors arriving in the UK, where jobs in the domestic medical labour force are scarce. The NHS has recently announced job cut backs of 4,000, and more are expected to follow after it was revealed the NHS is in severe debt.

The second reason is to ensure that valuable medical skills are repatriated back to countries in the developing world where they are needed the most. The Department of Health plans to introduce transitional arrangements for IMGs who need an extension on their current visa to complete their training post. If you have a job offer can help you with the work permit application.