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Some sections of the media are referring to this as Britain’s ‘independence day’. Whatever your views on prime minister Theresa May today formally beginning the process of exit from the European Union, the predominant feeling in the health service may be that we are more dependent than ever on politicians – and them giving the NHS the clarity it so desperately needs.
We are left with a profound and gnawing uncertainty – felt most acutely, of course, by our European colleagues, but also by the whole of a health service that would collapse without their contribution. Around 22,000 GMC-registered doctors with a licence to practise obtained their qualification from another European Economic Area (EEA) country, and more than half work in the NHS.
The care of my patients is continually and immeasurably enriched by those who have come to the UK, and who every day demonstrate their commitment to the National Health Service. I of course include in this those doctors from India, Pakistan and virtually every country in the world, as well as those from Europe.
Those who joined us from other EU countries did so, often decades ago, with the expectation they could settle without hindrance in a place where their skills were appreciated. A virtuous circle in which all would benefit.
All they seek now is an answer, an end to the uncertainty that the government has allowed to fester since the vote to leave the EU last June.
It is little wonder that 42 per cent of EU doctors who responded to a BMA survey are thinking of leaving the UK. That would be a catastrophic loss, when the NHS is already at breaking point.
The government needs to understand that our European colleagues are not temps, they’re not stopgaps or bargaining chips. They are people, and they are doctors, and they are valued by their colleagues and patients. Our government should value them too. The BMA believes that permanent residency should be available to all EEA doctors and medical academic staff working in the UK, irrespective of how long they have been here.
Recently, after lobbying from the BMA, working in conjunction with our counterparts in other European medical organisations, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier specifically referenced the European ‘nurses and doctors who contribute to the quality of healthcare in the United Kingdom’ and the need for their status to be resolved.
This work by the BMA’s Brussels office is one of a large number of lobbying activities that we have been undertaking since the referendum.
Our priorities have included the retention and recruitment of EU staff, the continuing mutual recognition of professional qualifications and the protection of our world-leading scientific research, where the extent of European cooperation may be at its most apparent.
All four UK countries have been involved in this work. In Northern Ireland, for example, the BMA’s chair John D Woods wrote to the Northern Ireland secretary earlier this year to point out the existing and successful examples of cross-border working which provide vital care to patients. European co-operation is not an abstract philosophy, it saves and improves patients’ lives.
We have also made the case for our European colleagues to parliamentary enquiries in Westminster and Brussels, and in a series of briefings.
For BMA members, we have offered a range of practical support, including advice on how to apply for permanent residency.
We will continue to fight hard for doctors like Rafael Euba, who works in a shortage specialty, and came to Britain from Spain 30 years ago.
Dr Euba, a consultant psychiatrist in London, says: ‘To this government, it seems that after these years of service, doctors from the EU are only fit to be played as political pawns.
‘I want to believe that no one will knock on my door in the middle of the night to deport me, but the whole point of being a bargaining chip is there are no guarantees.’
Dr Euba deserves better. His patients, and the thousands who are treated and comforted every day by NHS staff from other EU countries deserve better too. We need certainty from the government, and we need it now.
Read more about the BMA’s work to protect health services following the vote to leave the European Union
Politics, economics and law are as important in patient care as medicine. Politics is a science dealing with realities of a nation's issues. Medicine is a science to diagnose and treat diseases. In Britain, as worldwide, everyone but everyone is a patient at one time or another. As a doctor on the General Medical Register since 1964, I have observed that the academic doctors and politicians in Britain dislike each other and often use patients as a shield to fight each other. This scenario is exclusive to Great Britain and does not occur in other countries. In this tussle, everyone suffers . As a Life member of the BMA, I note that the BMA is a trade union of all doctors , which is medical political role, but it calls itself "apolitical". This must distract the BMA from its real role.In the past, the current Secretary of State for Health used to be the first speaker at the Annual Representatives Meetings (ARMs) and many media photographers were present. This used help the BMA in its role as a successful trade union. I noted a great change, since Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke's time, for some years now, no Health Secretary has opened an ARM. No press photographers. The mutual dialogue between the BMA and the British Government is now through media snaps and agitation marches. They have closed doors on negotiations behind closed doors. We doctors and patients suffer as a result of communication with deaf ears between Medical and National politicians. I wish I could find a suitable hearing aid for our leaders on both sides. Dr Bashir Qureshi FRCGP, FRCPCH, AFOM-RCP, Hon FFSRH-RCOG, Hon FRSPH, Hon MAPHA. Life Member of the BMA and its devoted supporter since 1964.
I as an EU national, who trained in the UK, was never balloted for my political opinion (and that is what the BMA is presenting) and have not been represented in this latest BMA campaign. The BMA seems to have selectively picked EU nationals who trained abroad, rather than EU nationals generally (I could easily guess why - after 5 years here, my group can apply for permanent residency, as indeed I did). If I have never been balloted on what I would want for EU nationals, then I would bet that the British doctors are also simply being ignored by the BMA.
This issue has undoubted political dimensions. Perhaps you should include the views of all your members? Or at least ask for them?
I don't remember BMA making same effort when doctors from Indian subcontinent, Africa etc were forced out of UK training due to changing the rules and giving priority to doctors from EU
What more with the Government's new immigration skills charge that will see thousands more of our valued doctors and nurses go. The charge will have all employers across the country pay £1000 per non-EU employee per year. I understand that funds will be used to train British people but this will take time and will cause further disruption to the system, but most of all, the money could go towards better health and care services.
To help, I have set up a petition on the Parliament website, which has been approved and is now live.
In March, the BMA and Royal College of Nursing wrote a joint letter to Amber Rudd ccing Jeremy Hunt asking for the NHS to be exempt from the charge.
I would be grateful if you could help and invite your stakeholders to support the case.
Hey guys my wife and I have been married for 15 years. For over five years I have been dealing with jealousy issues because of flirting and her having emotional type affairs with other men. I felt like my masculinity was in question and if I said the way she was acting bothered me, it seemed to make matters worse or I was accused of being controling. During this period I did state I wanted a divorce if the behavior was not going to end: texting men a night, leaving for the weekend without letting me know where she was going or not responding to messages. We do have a son and basically it's been him and I for the last year on the weekends. She disconnected completely from being a good wife and mother. In April she said she wanted a separation and I said no we need to get into marriage counseling. We did try that, but she was not very responsive and didn't give any effort. Afterward she was adamant about separation and divorce. I continued to say no and that we needed to save our family. She presented a separation agreement and I had to hire a lawyer. Because of the above behavior my lawyer suggested a private investigator. The investigator discovered my wife was having an affair with a close friend of the family who also is married with children. We know the extended families. I feel like I should tell this man's wife about what happened. This adultery has devastated me emotionally, I feel betrayed and I'm physically drained. I know my wife is passionate in terms of her sexuality, and I can't get the thought of them out of my head. It makes me question my own manhood, and I feel very inferior or that he must be a better lover or what ever. The problem is my wife pursued him. She would go to him and she lured him into this adultery. I felt this was coming for some time and could not stop it. She was not only lying to me but also to our son about what she was doing and where she was going. My family is important, my son loves her and as crazy as it sounds so do I. Can you respond with a course of action on how to proceed? I was still have a very huge place in my heart for her. so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my wife came to me and apologized for the wrongs she did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I, my son and my wife are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Ahmed. as it is a place to resolve marriage/relationship issues, do you want to be sure if your spouse is being faithful to you or Do you want your Ex to come back to you Contact.: E-mail: [email protected] save your crumbling home and change of grades its 100% safe. I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.
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Hello everyone out there, I'm here to share my unexpected miracle that had happened to me through the help of Dr Mack. I was happily married with two kids; we lived together as one because we both loved each other. All of a sudden, my husband started acting funny and started keeping late night. I took out time to know what was actually going on and realized that he was cheating on me. Later on, he told me that he cannot continue with me, i even pleaded with him but he never listened. The worst part of it was that he left me and my two kids with noting to hold on to. But there was nothing i could do to stop him or bring him back to me. I work so hard to pay the kids school fees and other responsibilities for good three years. I cry all day and night because I didn't know what to do to have my husband back to me until this fateful day I read the post from one Mrs. Victoria testifying how the great spell caster helped her to get her ex back. I just wanted to try my luck because I never believe it will work but i said let me give it a try. I contacted the great spell caster and he told me not to worry that my husband will return to me in no distance time after he must have finished casting the spell, which i will get back my husband. The unbelievable happened on Sunday when I got a call and I was so surprised to hear my husband’s voice apologizing to me that he is so sorry for all his Wrong did, telling me he is coming back home to fix all the pains and hardship he brought upon me. Wow!!! I really appreciated the great work of DR. MACK. I will always acknowledge your "FABULOUS WORKS" and there is nothing i could say than to tell the whole world about my miracle. So, if anyone is out there reading this post and you have similar issue like this, worry no more Dr. MACK is there for you, he can also offer any type of help like Reuniting of marriage and relationship, You can contact him on Dr_mack @yahoo. com
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