Tory plan to double migrant worker surcharge will worsen NHS staffing crisis, says BMA

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 19 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2453
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

The Conservative government’s pledge to double the charge that organisations pay to employ workers from outside the European Economic Area will exacerbate the NHS staffing crisis and “take around £7bn a year from the NHS frontline,” the BMA has said.

The Conservative Party’s manifesto promises that by the end of the next parliament the immigration skills charge, which was introduced in April and currently stands at £1000 (€1165; $1300) per year of a tier 2 visa (for immigrants working in skilled areas), would rise to £2000.

The BMA said that the government had ignored warnings that the immigration skills charge would worsen the NHS staffing crisis. Mark Porter, its chair of council, said, “As overseas staff can only be employed if recruitment from the UK and EU has been unsuccessful, it is completely unacceptable for the …

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