The Home Office has revealed that nearly 2,000 doctors and health professionals have had visa applications rejected between December and March due to the government's annual cap on skilled workers from non-EU countries.
With the NHS facing serious staffing shortages, RCP president Professor Jane Dacre commented:
Six months on and these figures highlight the depressing reality of little to no progress on relaxing visa rules to allow overseas doctors to work in the UK. This is against the backdrop of an overstretched NHS and increasing numbers of vacancies across all key healthcare professions.
In the current climate of widespread workforce shortages, turning away doctors from the UK is a critical issue, and one we believe is of great detriment to maintaining safe patient care. On behalf of our members we will continue to press hard for a resolution.
Earlier this year Professor Dacre wrote to both prime minister Theresa May and then home secretary Amber Rudd asking them to 'urgently address' the tier 2 visa issue, recommending excluding applications for shortage occupation roles from the allocation process, to allow more doctors entry to the UK.