Tories finally relent on medical visas

Theresa May’s flagship skilled visa cap is finally being done away with, after the Financial Times revealed on Tuesday that over 2000 visa applications from Doctors had been rejected over the last five months.

The cap, which was introduced in 2010, limits the number of ‘skilled workers’ from outside the EU and Switzerland who can get so called ‘tier 2’ visas to work in the UK. The British Medical Association - the doctor’s trade union - has been calling on the government to review the cap for quite some time.

In Scotland there are almost 3000 fewer Nurses than needed, along with 400 fewer doctors. The director of the RCN in Scotland, Theresa Fyffe, said the staffing challenges “have never been greater” earlier this month.  Meanwhile, in England, there are a staggering 30,000 vacancies for Nurses, and 10,000 fewer doctors - and the system is struggling to cope.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott welcomed the changes, but said that the Government must go much further:

“This is a most welcome U-turn on a policy that has undermined the needs of the NHS and the well-being of our nation for far too long.

“Labour has consistently questioned the logic of turning away qualified medical professionals from an NHS with thousands of vacancies.

“As the new Home Secretary does away with one of the most ridiculous parts of Theresa Mays ‘hostile environment policy’, it has never been clearer just how isolated and powerless the PM has become in enforcing her failed net migration target.

“The NHS is not the only sector facing shortages, and the Windrush scandal has shown just how far reaching the consequences of this Government’s immigration policies have been.

“It’s time the Tories put an end to the ‘hostile environment’ for good.”

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