According to recent news reports, hundreds of doctors living in England and working for the NHS are thinking of leaving the country in protest against the UK work permit fees. These professionals are currently facing thousands of pounds in immigration UK expenses each year, just so that they can continue to use their skills within Britain.
Currently, the tier 2 work permit system and UK visa strategy in place means that medics from around the world need to pay thousands each year for their working visa, and for additional support for their families. Over 500 doctors from outside of the EU have already issued complaints about the system, in a testimony given to the EveryDoctor campaigning organisation run by modern medics.
Though it's clear that the NHS needs as many skilled doctors as possible with British Naturalisation, the UK is making it increasingly difficult for professionals to come into the country.
The healthcare professionals from outside of EU27 want their visa charges to be cut or removed completely. This includes re-thinking the immigration health surcharges that recently increased for every member of the doctor's family.
Critics of the current UK work permit environment say that failure to reduce the current financial burden on overseas doctors will lead to an increasing shortage of health professionals. Already, a lack of talent from outside of Britain is affecting GP and hospital services across the country.
According to Dr. Julia Patterson, from the EveryDoctor campaign, the NHS actually goes out of its way to recruit doctors from other countries. However, when these doctors receive their tier 2 work permit and arrive in the UK, they aren't given the support that they need.
The rising fees for immigration, combined with the NHS surcharge for doctors, create a highly complicated situation for doctors across the UK. Many experts are beginning to rethink their decision to live and work in the country as a result.