Wales

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Commitment to secure rights of EU workers

EU referendum
European Community

The Welsh Government has reaffirmed its commitment to BMA Cymru Wales to do all it can to secure the rights of EU workers in the NHS.

In a meeting between BMA Welsh council chair Phil Banfield and first minister Carwyn Jones, BMA Cymru Wales outlined its support of the working time directive and the need to secure a flexible, reciprocal immigration system to ensure the entry of highly skilled doctors into the UK.

The positions were supported by the Welsh Government.

The first minister also said he believed Wales should continue to benefit from access to some EU programmes, such as Horizon 2020, post-Brexit.

Dr Banfield said: 'Our meeting with the minister was productive and it reaffirmed the commitment of Wales to its EU doctors and students and, importantly, confirmed the collaborative approach between BMA Cymru Wales and the Welsh Government.

'We have a highly cosmopolitan workforce in our NHS and it is important to provide reassurance and stability as soon as possible for those staff who are potentially affected by Brexit.

'There are a large amount of researchers and academic staff within Wales who are from the EU and we need to protect the richness and diversity it brings.'

First minister Carwyn Jones said: 'The NHS has a rich history of welcoming doctors who were born or trained in and outside the EU.

'They are dedicated members of staff who have made long-term commitments to the UK and they make an essential contribution to the health of our nation every day.

'Whatever the challenges that lie ahead, our priority is to ensure the Welsh NHS has the right medical workforce it needs for the long term.

'We will not discriminate against those born or trained elsewhere, but welcome them as the valued asset that they have always proved to be.'

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