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Lift off the ‘restriction to work as a doctor in training’ from Tier 1 general visa

2 Comments 30th January 2015

I suggest lifting off the 'restriction to work as a doctor in training' from Tier 1 general visa.

NHS is facing a recruitment crisis at the junior doctor's level as there are not enough UK/ EEA candidates to fill the junior posts and we still rely on International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to run the service smoothly.

High standards of training was one of the main charms for IMGs to come and work as a doctor in the UK and this attraction is lost now because IMGs are barred from taking up training posts because of the above visa rules. Since overseas doctors do not have the opportunity of training and progression in the UK it has become extremely difficult to attract them, hence accentuating the recruitment crisis. 

In order to meet the demand NHS trusts are having to sponsor work permits to recruit doctors in training jobs . This makes the recruitment process more complicated and expensive taking into account the cost of repeatedly advertising the posts to prove that the resident labour market test has been applied, organising several rounds of recruitment and finally the cost of sponsoring the visa. Whereas if the restriction from Tier1 visa is lifted off a reasonable number of doctors will be able to apply under this category without jeopardising their progression and they will pay for their own visas with no need for their employer (NHS) to waste money on sponsoring and arranging a visa.

With the introduction of a cap on immigration, recruiting doctors on short term work permits may mean a very unstable medical workforce in the country. And  if doctors are needed in the country whether they are on a work permit or Tier 1 does not alter the number of immigrants by any means.

I would like to site my example to prove the above, I was appointed as a junior doctor on the PMETB approved core medical training programme in Sheffield in August 2009 on a work permit for 2 years to cover the 2 year duration of my core medical training. At the end of these 2 years, I need to reapply for further 5 years of training to become a specialist. I am eligible for a Tier 1 visa but if I take this type of visa I will not be able to continue my training. If I do not apply for this visa I will not be eligible to apply for the first round of training recruitment despite of my knowledge and skills which make me a highly appointable candidate. I will have to wait for an employer to prove that I have passed the resident labour market test and then sponsor my visa. This may lead to a gap or perhaps discontinuation of my training in the UK, forcing me to leave and continue my training in another country. It also brings in a lot of uncertainty about my leave to remain in the UK in case I do not find an employer to sponsor me. 

Having completed the United States Medical Licensing Exam, I would rather apply for a training job in The States than go through the stress of uncertainities about my future in the UK. Most of the doctors in my situation feel the same way and this is how UK is losing its medical workforce to The States or to Australia and Newzealand.

Had there not been the restriction on Tier 1 visa preventing doctors to work in training posts, I would have been able to shape my future in the UK and have the privilege of staying close to my siblings who are doctors on the old unrestricted HSMP visa!

Why does this matter?

 

NHS is facing a recruitment crisis at the junior doctor's level as there are not enough UK/ EEA candidates to fill the junior posts and we still rely on International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to run the service smoothly. High standards of training was one of the main charms for IMGs to come and work as a doctor in the UK and this attraction is lost now because IMGs are barred from taking up training posts because of the above visa rules. Since overseas doctors do not have the opportunity of training and progression in the UK it has become extremely difficult to attract them, hence accentuating the recruitment crisis. 

In order to meet the demand NHS trusts are having to sponsor work permits to recruit doctors in training jobs . This makes the recruitment process more complicated and expensive taking into account the cost of repeatedly advertising the posts to prove that the resident labour market test has been applied, organising several rounds of recruitment and finally the cost of sponsoring the visa. Whereas if the restriction from Tier1 visa is lifted off a reasonable number of doctors will be able to apply under this category without jeopardising their progression and they will pay for their own visas with no need for their employer (NHS) to waste money on sponsoring and arranging a visa.

With the introduction of a cap on immigration, recruiting doctors on short term work permits may mean a very unstable medical workforce in the country. And  if doctors are needed in the country whether they are on a work permit or Tier 1 does not alter the number of immigrants by any means.

I would like to site my example to prove the above, I was appointed as a junior doctor on the PMETB approved core medical training programme in Sheffield in August 2009 on a work permit for 2 years to cover the 2 year duration of my core medical training. At the end of these 2 years, I need to reapply for further 5 years of training to become a specialist. I am eligible for a Tier 1 visa but if I take this type of visa I will not be able to continue my training. If I do not apply for this visa I will not be eligible to apply for the first round of training recruitment despite of my knowledge and skills which make me a highly appointable candidate. I will have to wait for an employer to prove that I have passed the resident labour market test and then sponsor my visa. This may lead to a gap or perhaps discontinuation of my training in the UK, forcing me to leave and continue my training in another country. It also brings in a lot of uncertainty about my leave to remain in the UK in case I do not find an employer to sponsor me. 

Having completed the United States Medical Licensing Exam, I would rather apply for a training job in The States than go through the stress of uncertainities about my future in the UK. Most of the doctors in my situation feel the same way and this is how UK is losing its medical workforce to The States or to Australia and Newzealand.

Had there not been the restriction on Tier 1 visa preventing doctors to work in training posts, I would have been able to shape my future in the UK and have the privilege of staying close to my siblings who are doctors on the old unrestricted HSMP visa!

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2 Responses to Lift off the ‘restriction to work as a doctor in training’ from Tier 1 general visa

  1. Sophia says:

    I can’t agree more to this. I have been victim of this restriction. I have been so much disadvantaged due to this unnecessary and rather discriminating clause which bars you from competing altogether. I never wanted to come to UK as I was working in a good training post in my home country but then I got married and since my husband is in UK so I left my training thinking that I will be able to train in one of best systems in world. Alas here I am, four years after I came here unable to get into radiology. I am not entitled to apply in round one recruitment and there is no round two for it. I still have to wait one more year for the restriction to be lifted. My prime reason to come here was personal but I am a qualified person with some career goals. I have been deeply disappointed by this system. I did manage to get into a training post in another specialty though. I don’t like it as much but I am forced to accept it as otherwise I work as a trust grade doctor which is simply wasting time with no direction. And the worst part is that to get my visa switched from tier one dependent to tier two, I had to go back and apply from my home country. Such a waste of money and time basically. I was already on visa which was valid for two years. But I was forced to switch from one to other category. And consider the whole cost of switch. I suggest that the law should be changed especially for dependent visas as we come here for personal reasons and if we are qualified, our potential should be fully utilised. It’s better as we will be staying here, work or no work. It means lesser hassle getting further people to fill up posts. We are already living as dependent relatives, we are qualified, so why recruit someone from abroad prior to utilising our potential.

  2. alaa says:

    I want to know teir 2 non training post visa will allow me to do training post in UK, as the new rule states that you should have teir 1 or dependent or have teir 2 but continue training with sane sponsor, this means any IMG doctor should stay with same sponsor to get training job.
    I am really confused about the new rules, I am worried just doing my PLAB now but really disappointed as the rules are restricted. for Obs. & gyn. they said you should apply for round 2 if you are not qualified for round 1 and there is no round 2 in os. & gyn.
    Just I want to know how doctors apply for training if they are on teir2 and thee is no round 2 in their speciality.

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