Leaders of United Kingdom’s NHS (National Health Service) are urging the government to modify its immigration policy to make it convenient to hire overseas doctors and nurses to fill considerable gaps left by labour shortages in the country.
A survey by NHS Providers, a trade body for 98 percent of NHS Trusts, said that shortages of workers are the main concern for two out of three chairs and chief executives of NHS trusts and foundation trusts. In fact, 85 percent of them think recruiting staff from overseas is of very high of fairly high importance to keep running their services for the next three years.
For this issue to be addressed, NHS Providers said that the government must waste no time in confirming the right to remain of 60,000 staff from the EU in the NHS and plan how it will raise resources for staff’s pay hikes after it abolished its public sector pay ceiling.
The report, entitled ‘There for us: a better future for the NHS workforce’ adds that the government must be obligated to a future immigration regime supporting trusts to hire and retain workforce from all over the world to fill positions that domestic workers cannot fill in the short to medium term.
An international recruitment programme led by the Department of Health should support it, giving trusts the option to pay instead of operating individual recruitment schemes.
Chris Hopson, NHS Providers chief executive, was quoted by The Independent as saying that the workforce and skill shortages they were witnessing now demonstrate a major failure on the national level on staff strategy.
He added that they do not have sufficient staff with the appropriate skills, and they were asking a lot more from their existing staff than they can provide.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the British Medical Association, said that the NHS has always been relying on them for overseas doctors to deliver essential care to patients and their health service may not function without their services.
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