Hundreds of Indian nurses in UK face deportation under new immigration rules

Termed as a suicidal move by critics, Britain is to axe jobs of hundreds of Indian nurses who have been a pillar of support and backbone to National Health Service (NHS).

As a measure to curb immigration, the Tories’ new immigration policy intends to pack off almost 7000 overseas nurses by 2020. The new rules say that a nurse can stay in the UK only if she or he earns a minimum of £35,000 a year – which is the salary of a senior nurse. This is a position that the majority of nurses would not reach within six years.

The immigration rules for health care workers will cause chaos for the NHS and other care services. In 2012, the European Commission estimated that there would be of a shortfall of nearly 600,000 nurses in the EU by 2020.

UK border control

Under new rules, up to 3,365 nurses currently working in the UK may have to leave the country from 2017 as a direct result of the 2012 immigration changes. If levels of recruitment stay the same, by 2020, 6,620 nurses will be impacted, majority of which will be from India according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

What experts find silly is that the NHS has already spent over £20 million recruiting the 3,365 nurses already working in the UK who may have to return home because they are unlikely to meet the income threshold. If recruitment from outside Europe were to continue, by 2020 employers may have invested nearly £180 million on recruiting nurses who may have to leave the UK after six years.

Dr Carter continued “The UK will be sending away nurses who have contributed to the health service for six years. Losing their skills and knowledge and then having to start the cycle again and recruit to replace them is completely illogical. NHS trusts are being asked to provide safe staffing with both hands tied behind their backs. Without a change to these immigration rules the NHS will continue to pay millions of pounds to temporarily rent nurses from overseas”.

– Spadman