The new rule of the UK government, requiring work permit to be made mandatory for non-European doctors, in order for them to work in the National Health Service (NHS), has brought about nervousness among the Indian doctors.
With the change in rule, about 4,000 Indian doctors already working there are expected to be affected in addition to about 850 unemployed doctors, hoping to get training assignment. With this rule it would become almost impossible for Indian doctors to get a job with the NHS.
Until April 7, doctors from all non-European Union countries were allowed to undertake NHS jobs under the permit-free working schemes as their jobs itselves were considered part of their training.
As of April 7, the Health Department has proposed that both international medical graduates as well as non-European doctors who wish to work with the NHS would need a work permit. And for this the employer must indicate the existence of a genuine vacancy that cannot be filled by a resident worker.
In 2000 NHS had started hiring international medical staff when faced by an acute shortage of qualified doctors. Its original plan had been to employ 7,500 consultants and 2,000 general physicians. But at present there are more than 1,17,000 doctors employed by NHS in addition to several doctors training in UK medical schools.