New rules on family migration are ‘inhumane and lacking in basic common sense’, an MP told a parliamentary debate.
The work of the BMA in highlighting the impact of the rule changes on the NHS and individual doctors was also highlighted in the Westminster Hall debate this week.
The association gave evidence to the APPG (all-party parliamentary group) on migration, raising concerns about the workforce implications of the rule changes that affect senior doctors in the NHS.
Earlier this month, the APPG published its inquiry report, calling for a review of the rules.
Under the July 2012 rule changes, relatives of British citizens have to demonstrate they need long-term personal care that could only be provided by their relatives in the UK, and without recourse to public funds.
Brent Central Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, who sits on the APPG on migration, told Wednesday’s debate about the BMA’s evidence.
She said: ‘The consequences of the rules were drawn to our attention in the inquiry most notably by the BMA, which said that they were among the biggest challenges in planning resourcing around consultants and senior doctors, many of whom are second-generation south Asian and want to bring relatives.
‘For example, two people who are partners, both of whom may be highly paid consultants capable of supporting an elderly dependent relative but with no means of meeting the rules, might end up moving to Singapore. If such highly trained, highly valued people go somewhere else to work so that they are able to be with their family members, that is a significant drain on our NHS.’
Ms Teather added: ‘The current system seems to me to be inhumane and lacking in basic common sense.’
In a briefing to MPs before the debate, the BMA explained its opposition to the implementation of immigration rules that ‘retrospectively have an impact on individuals who have already committed themselves to a life in the UK’.
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