05:22 GMT +318 June 2018
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    Relaxation of UK Immigration Cap: Foreign Doctors, Nurses Much Needed Lifeline

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    In an expected announcement by the new UK Home Secretary, immigration rules will be loosened to allow more doctors and nurses from outside the European Union to Britain.

    Healthcare workers who plan to enter employment with Britain's National Health Service (NHS) are seen as skilled workers, required to fill in the staff gaps.

    In his first migration policy, the freshly appointed Home Secretary Sajid Javid will reportedly introduce changes to the current regulations, set up by his predecessor and now the Prime Minister, Theresa May.

    Mrs. May had set an annual cap of 20,700 ‘Tier 2' non-EU skilled workers per year, as part of the government's policy to reduce immigration.

    You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if you've been offered a skilled job in the UK and you're from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

    The British Medical Association has called on the government to review the Tier 2 visa cap, as it's "resulting in thousands of highly trained, experienced doctors being blocked from taking up empty NHS posts."

    NHS operating theatre
    © Photo : Rex Features
    NHS operating theatre

    Earlier in May, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth wrote a letter to the Mr. Javid, stressing that "visa rules clearly aren't working in the best interests of NHS patients."

    "I am asking that you put patient safety first by taking NHS workers out of the tier 2 visa system so that hospitals can get the right numbers of staff in place," Ashworth argued. 

    READ MORE: UK Labour Calls for Foreign Medical Worker Visa Exemptions

    The UK healthcare system, undergoing a financial crisis due to staff shortages and lack of funding, is heavily dependent on foreign professionals.

    READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE — The Disconcerting Diagnosis of the UK National Health Service 

    Related:

    UK Labour Calls for Foreign Medical Worker Visa Exemptions
    EXCLUSIVE: The Disconcerting Diagnosis of the UK National Health Service
    Tags:
    cap, nurses, doctors, immigration, National Health Service (NHS), Sajid Javid, Theresa May, United Kingdom, England
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