BMA claims higher immigration fees will deter doctors

Increased immigration application charges will deter doctors from coming to the UK, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

Under new plans, the application charges – which are applicable each time an immigrant changes jobs – will rise by up to 200% to £500.

In a letter to home secretary Charles Clarke, BMA chairman, James Johnson, said doctors often  change jobs frequently, and urged the government to reassess the decision.

“The NHS relies heavily on the skills of international medical graduates, with an estimated three in 10 doctors working in the UK having gained their qualifications abroad,” he said.

“The UK is still desperately short of doctors and until the day comes when NHS is self-sufficient in doctors, we cannot risk excessive charges for immigration applications discouraging doctors from migrating to the UK.”

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