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Work Permits: Doctors

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation was carried out with the NHS and its associated bodies prior to the implementation of the new immigration rules on how the rules would affect foreign national doctors employed by the NHS. (122182)

On 7 November, the Government announced changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant programme (HSMP). These changes included the removal of a GP Priority category, which awarded points to GPs registered with the General Medical Council, on the strength that the increase in funding for doctors’ training has increased the number of qualified GPs available, removing the need for special arrangements to attract GPs from abroad.

The removal of the GPs provision was agreed with the Department of Health and cleared across Government.

It is not the Government’s intention to disqualify highly-skilled applicants with medical qualifications, who could still qualify under the new HSMP criteria.