Representatives at the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting in Brighton have today backed a motion1 celebrating the contribution of international medical graduates to the UK and calling for better conditions for them.
Chair of the BMA international committee Kitty Mohan said:
“For International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who come to work in the UK, who may have left family and friends at home and who take great risks in coming so far, the welcome they get so often fails to live up to what they should be able to expect.
“The meeting today has clearly expressed its gratitude and support for those doctors and the valuable contribution they make to the UK workforce. The BMA has lobbied for immigration concessions and better conditions for IMGs and will continue to do so with the backing of this meeting.
“The ability of NHS workers to bring close family to the UK impacts hugely on health, wellbeing and retention, and we have already been arguing to soften the adult dependent relative immigration rules. Other healthcare professionals, for example nurses, experience difficulties bringing their children to the UK under restrictive ‘sole responsibility rules’.
We will continue to support GP practices by calling for the removal of the bureaucratic burden associated with the sponsorship process and call on the Home Office to grant indefinite leave to remain to GP trainees at the end of their training programme.
“Extending the duration of existing tier 2 visas would give trainees flexibility at the end of their training - to alleviate the stress and anxiety they experience if their immigration status is uncertain at the end of their training.
“We will continue to push for this country to be made a place where a doctor will be welcomed wherever they come from.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
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1. The full wording of the motion is as below:
Motion by CONFERENCE OF LMCS:
That this meeting celebrates and values the contribution of international medical graduates to our workforce and calls on the UK government to:-
i. support the option of relocation of the close family of NHS workers to the UK;
ii. facilitate tier 2 sponsorship / skilled worker status funding for all practices across the country;
iii. mandate a five year minimum visa award to doctors entering UK GP training programmes;
iv. extend the duration of any existing tier 2 visa (or health and social care visa) before the planned CCT date without having trainees to secure employment for visa sponsorship;
v. lobby the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to prioritise IMG GP trainees who do not hold a UK driving license for driving tests.