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Government own goal on Healthcare: Need for Integrated Thinking.

Tighter immigration rules introduced in recent years meant many overseas medics left Britain and returned home.

But the exodus, added to new European regulations limiting the hours of doctors, caused unfilled vacancies.

Attempts to recruit scores of Indian doctors have floundered on a disagreement between government departments.

The need for junior doctors is most acute outside the big metropolitan areas.

The European Working Time Directive, which was fully introduced into the NHS last August, limits doctors to working no more than 48 hours per week and has left gaps on rotas.

Some district general hospitals have had trouble attracting enough staff to cope with the changes leading, in some cases, to services being cut.

The dearth of doctors has been recognised by the Department of Health but it is being obstructed by the Home Office who will not shift beyond a maximum 2 year visa.

The shortage of junior doctors means hospitals are struggling to fill vacancies, and having to devise their own initiatives to recruit doctors wherever they can find them.

A similar shortage is arising in the domiciliary care sector where the UK Border Agency altered its stance on Bulgarian and Romanian workers earlier this year. Commenting Chris Slay of Eastern European recruitment specialist Skills Provision said “It’s very sad that government policy is not joined up on health care generally. Quite rightly the administration is looking to control costs by encouraging at home care but then increases the costs for providers by removing an attractive source of labour by asking users to provide non-commercial guarantees.”


Author: Chris Slay

Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.