DOCTORS MAY GET IMMIGRATION REPRIEVE
(31 July 2006)
British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) was granted
permission to the hearing of its legal challenge against the new
immigration rules affecting international doctors. BAPIO has claimed
that the decision to abolish permit free training for doctors qualified
outside the UK and the EEA was unfair and unjust. It has also argued
that the Department of Health guidelines on interpretation of the
Immigration Rules on doctors with leave to remain in the UK under
the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme were discriminatory and unreasonable.
Buddhdev Pandya MBE, who is BAPIO's Honorary Corporate Advisor confirmed
that BAPIO had claimed that the departments have not followed due
procedures such as appropriate consultations and undertaking of
a Race Equality Impact Assessment. BAPIO estimates that about 10,000
trainee doctors will have to leave the country half way through
their training within months unless the rules are changed.
Raman Lakshman, from BAPIO's advisory council lamented "Because
of the new ruling, thousands of doctors who had passed the PLAB
test and were waiting for training jobs have lost hope and a large
number have already returned home, bitter and angry. Things must
change quickly to reduce the distress to those who are still here".
announcement by the Department of Health abolishing Permit Free
Training for the Trainee doctors from Non EU countries, BAPIO filed
a case in the high court on Wednesday the 7th June 2006, asking
for a Judicial Review. It has briefed Mr. Rabinder Singh QC through
M/s Linder-Myers solicitors.
April, BAPIO had organised a peaceful demonstration at the Whitehall
and submitted a petition signed by over 6000 doctors to the Department
of Health. A Minister of the Home Office confirmed that they had
not published the details for consultations after a labour backbench
Mr Austin Mitchell MO raised an early day motion in the House of
BAPIO delegates were invited by Health Minster Lord Warner to discuss
the concerns of international doctors. Subsequently there was also
a meeting with senior officials from the DOH to look at possible
Buddhdev Pandya MBE, Honorary Corporate Advisor to BAPIO commented
'The news from the Court is a good omen. However we are happy that
the Minister has opened up dialogue with BAPIO which may have potential
to resolve the problem'.
wants the Department of Health to issue correct guidance for doctors
with leave to remain in the UK under the Highly Skilled Migrants
Programme, in particular to make it clear that doctors on the HSMP
may be appointed to posts that extend beyond the duration of their
current leave to remain and hence can compete equally with UK/EEA
nationals for such posts.
seeks and an order quashing the decision to amend the Immigration
Rules for Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists so as to abolish permit
free training for doctors who qualified outside the UK and the EEA.
case is likely to be heard towards the end of August after the summer