UK Permits LAS To Sponsor 100 Overseas Paramedics Per Year

08 Feb 2014


Immigration News

Very soon, India may experience a new wave of brain drain. To aid the country-wide shortage of paramedics, the LAS (London Ambulance Service) has received permission to hire overseas professionals. The application from LAS to sponsor paramedics from non-European countries for UK Work Visas has been approved by the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA).

Presently, there are 250 vacancies in the ambulance service for registered paramedics, and they are looking to hire from countries like New Zealand, Australia and India, where paramedics have a high order of skills.

Director of Paramedic Education and Development, Mark Whitbread said that the annual raise in demand and a necessity to have increased number of registered professionals in the health-care industry attending to patients means that the UK needs a larger number of paramedics. He added that the same thing goes for other ambulance trusts throughout the country but the UK only has a limited number of registered paramedics.

Although the LAS is sponsoring student paramedics through their work with colleges/universities, and supporting former military personnel to regard a career in the ambulance service, LAS is also looking at hiring overseas paramedics.

Whitbread said that paramedics are highly skilled clinicians and to qualify as a paramedic, it can take at least 3 years for people who are entering the profession. He also said that along with encouraging people to favor a career in para-medicine, they are also looking for hiring overseas paramedics to help bridge the gap.

To enable paramedics hired from overseas to treat the patients in the UK, they will go through a small conversion course.

Whitbread stated that they are not sending a UK team overseas to help with the hiring, as the selection process will be handled by advertising locally with online interviews and applications. With the permission from the UKBA, LAS is allowed to sponsor 100 visas per year.

Indian doctors are the largest number of overseas medical professionals in the UK, and are almost thrice ahead of other Asian countries. Almost 10% (around 25,122) of the doctors serving in the National Health Service of the UK, were trained and qualified from an Indian Medical Institute. This shows that, in the top 20 countries based on the medical qualification, Indian paramedics are the 2nd highest group after the UK. India is followed by 9,401 doctors from Pakistan, 5,442 from South Africa and 4,074 from Nigeria.


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