GP visa petition launched by RCGP

26th August 2022 by NASGP

GP visa petition launched by RCGP

GPs have been asked to sign a petition by the RCGP to protest visa blockages for colleagues who trained overseas.

GPs who trained overseas currently face a number of hurdles to working in the NHS, despite the fact that the NHS heavily recruits international medical graduates (IMGs). Most obviously, newly-qualified GPs are not currently offered leave to remain.

IMGs currently make up over 40% of total GP trainees in the UK.

In a call to action by Prof Martin Marshall, RCGP chair, and Dr Margaret Ikpoh, RCGP Vice Chair and professional development lead, co-wrote: “We’re asking you to please join us in signing an open letter which calls on the Home Secretary to find a national solution to address this matter with urgency.

“Current visa regulations create barriers for many IMG trainees who want to continue working in general practice in the UK post-qualification.This is resulting in newly qualified GPs leaving the UK to work elsewhere or leaving general practice entirely – putting both their contributions and the NHS’s investment at risk.”

Prof Marshall and Dr Ikpoh also called for written submissions by GP trainees who are IMGs and the GPs who want to recruit them.

recent report by the Health Select Committee recommended that all IMG GP trainees should be offered leave to remain after successful completion of GP speciality training.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, wrote: “No sensible person would invest heavily in developing a precious resource for three years then just abandon it. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening here.

“Many newly-qualified GPs will want to stay in the UK, and will have made it their home, and we should be doing all we can to make their stay as simple and as welcome as possible.”

"I have found membership very helpful during my time as a GP locum and would like to thank you very much."

Dr Louise Napier-Hemy, GP

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