Monday, January 27, 2014

NHS needs foreign workers

Tim Finch, from the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank, said "If the single thread of immigration policy is just to get the overall figure down by any means, you've got to look at the consequences of that on the NHS. Without them [immigrants] we'd clearly be short – it would be very hard to replace that number overnight.

11% of all staff who work for the NHS and in community health services are not British.

The proportion of foreign nationals increases for professionally qualified clinical staff -14% -  and even more so for doctors - 26%. (GPs are not included in the figures because they are not employed by the NHS.)

India provided the highest number after Britain, with 18,424 out of a total of 1,052,404 workers. India also provided the highest number of professionally qualified clinical staff, doctors and consultants, after Britain. The number of Indian consultants was 2,708.

The Philippines provided the highest number of qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff after Britain, with 8,094 out of a total of 309,529,  reflecting the recruitment drive in the country under the Blair government.  The Philippines also provides the third highest number of NHS staff overall with 12,744.

British Medical Association (BMA) said that without the contribution of non-British staff, "many NHS services would struggle to provide effective care to their patients".

Finch downplayed the prospect of foreign nationals preventing British people getting a job in health services, saying that under the government's points system for non-EU migrants, workers would not gain entry unless there was a vacant post they were needed to fill.

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