12/09/2003

Doctors urge Home Secretary to end ‘asylum limbo’

Asylum-seeking doctors are being left in limbo by inflexible immigration policies that prevent them working, despite an international NHS recruitment campaign, according to doctor’s newspaper the BMA News.

Doctors' leaders have already written to Home Secretary David Blunkett urging him to review his withdrawal of an employment concession for asylum seekers which allowed them to work when they had waited more than six months for a decision on their asylum applications.

The doctor’s newspaper claims this will affect dozens of asylum-seeking doctors who could be ready to resume their medical careers if the concession was still in place.

The paper highlights the plight of an Iraqi doctor, who has passed the stringent language and competence tests to practise as a doctor in the UK but is being forced to live on benefits. He told BMA News: 'I think it would be better for the government if I worked and paid taxes.'

(SP)

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