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UK Relaxes Immigration Norms For Nurses, Indian Nurses Happy

26 Oct 2015


Immigration News

The Indian nurses working in Britain are experiencing much relief as the UK govt has included nursing as profession in shortage occupation. It means that nearing to 30,000 overseas nurses who have faced the axe as per the new immigration rules including thousands from India, will not be thrown out of UK.

Britain NHS ( National Health Services had earlier announced that as per the new rules which would come into existence,  a nurse can stay in the UK only if she or he earns a minimum of £35,000 a year which equivalents to salary of a senior nurse.  We find a majority of nurses would not reach this pay scale for the next six-years, and hence they would require to pack up and leave Britain.

In a dramatic U-turn, the UK govt has now announced the temporary changes for restriction on nurse recruitment who do not belong to European Economic area inorder to ensure safe staffing at all levels across NHS.

The UK govt plans to process applications belonging to non –EU trained nurses within the span of 70 days. Nurses would be added to the govt shortage occupation list on the interim basis. This means nurses who are from outside EEA can apply to work in the UK, their application for nursing posts will be processed on priority basis.

Our nation, India is a bit disappointed with this new development as  Union health ministry in Delhi is hoping to benefit from UK new immigration policy and would attract returning nurses with jobs.

The ministry was contemplating recruitment of these nurses on contractual basis under the National Rural health Mission on much higher salary than what their counterparts were getting in govt hospitals. India does have a shortage of 2.4 million nurses.

As per the new immigration policy of UK, it wished to levy cap on migrants’ number living in the UK, and it would have resulted in sending back nearing to  7,000 overseas nurses our nation, India by the year 2020.

In a recent interview to the media, additional secretary in India’s health ministry, Mishra has said, Britain’s loss would benefit us. We have a lot of space to absorb Indian nurses who wish to return to India due to new immigration rules levied by the UK. We will soon become much proactive in getting them back to India. Mishra added, if they work under NRHM, would give them decent pay.

The latest U-turn by Britain has also made  Indian govt worry. As the UK govt desires to target Nurses who are working in Indian hospitals and wish to get a job in the UK. Another point of worry is that the UK has started a campaign to get back experienced nurse’s who has left the profession back to work.

The immigration policy that has come into force in the UK would have seen 3365 nurses leaving the nation from the year  2017. This would have been the direct result of 2012 immigration changes.

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary said,  safe staffing across all hospitals as well as care units is our top priority. The temporary changes would ensure that NHS has enough nurses to deliver the highest standards of care without much reliance on staffing agencies that would cost the tax payer billions of pounds each year.

Health Education England has gone ahead and increased nurse training places by 14% when compared to previous two years and it is also forecasting that more than 23000 additional nurses would be in place by the year 2019.

Britain’s independent Migration Advisory Committee would review relaxation on nurses’ recruitment from outside the EU and would further provide evidence to the govt by February 2016.

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