THE RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel demanding that the government must act ‘urgently’ to prevent newly-qualified foreign GPs from being deported as they struggle to secure visas during the pandemic.
The RCGP warned the extra pressure placed on practices by Covid-19 meant they are unable to carry out recruitment processes or become visa sponsors in a short space of time.
Several GP trainees in their final year have contacted the RCGP over the issue, said the College in its 27 January letter to Patel.
It urged the Home Office to introduce a ‘flexible approach’ to tier 2 visa sponsorship to ‘ensure highly trained GPs are not lost unnecessarily’.
The letter said: ‘Many practices simply do not have capacity to undertake rapid GP recruitment or become visa sponsors, leaving newly qualified GPs at risk of deportation.
‘In addition, possible delays to the administration of sponsorship and visa applications can mean that even securing employment is not a guarantee of security for these GPs.’
It added: ‘Over recent years, significant time and money has been invested in GP training in order to help deliver the 6,000 more doctors that have been promised by the government and that general practice urgently needs.
‘To lose even a single newly qualified GP because of administrative barriers would be counter-productive and would make it harder for general practice to deliver the care patients rightly expect.’
- Health leaders who are implementing government policy have ‘failed to listen’ to concerns expressed by junior doctors over ongoing problems with the Core Surgical Training applications process in England.
Representatives from the BMA’s JDC (Junior Doctors Committee), ASiT (the Association of Surgeons in Training) and British Orthopaedic Trainees Association said the issues have resulted in a vast number of applicants having their scores downgraded in a manner which appears ‘inconsistent and often subjective’.
They said the experience of trainees ‘falls short of the agreed core principles of transparency, consistency and equity’ pledged by HEE (Health Education England) and other national bodies, and called for immediate action to remedy the issues.
They issued a statement saying: ‘Trainees are under considerable pressures, this year more than ever, juggling intense clinical work, personal life upheaval and the mental load of the pandemic; they should not have to contend with more uncertainty and system-driven stress.’