NRI doctors association's
battle may open doors for Indian doctors
- About 10,000 trainee doctors will have to leave the country
if law did not changed
- The court will decide end of August.
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UK court will decide on NRI doctors work
LONDON, July 25, 2006
In a positive response to NRI doctors protesting new
immigration rules in the UK, a judge has permitted the hearing of
their legal challenge against regulations which make it virtually
impossible for non-EU physicians to get jobs in the government-funded
National Health Service (NHS).
In a statement, the British Association of Physicians of Indian
Origin (BAPIO) which has launched the legal battle, said the Department
of Health and the Home Office have not followed due procedures,
like appropriate consultations and undertaking of a Race Equality
Impact Assessment when they brought about the new immigration rules.
The case is likely to be heard towards the end of August.
This is excellent news and the first sniff of victory. This
shows the strength of our case and that we have made out the legal
argument well. The icing on the cake is that the court has also
ordered that the hearing be expedited. This demonstrates that the
court appreciated the hardships that a delay in resolving this matter
could cause to the doctors affected, BAPIO President Ramesh
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 BAPIOs advisory council said, Because
of the new ruling, thousands of doctors who had passed the PLAB
(Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) test and were waiting
for training jobs have lost hope and a large number have already
returned home, angry. Things must change quickly to reduce the distress
to those who are still here.
Earlier BAPIO delegates were invited by Health Minister Lord Warner
to discuss the concerns of international doctors.
Satheesh Mathew, who leads BAPIOs London Division, said that
the meeting was amicable and that they were able to raise many relevant
issues with the minister.
Subsequently, BAPIO has met senior officials from the Department
of Health to look at possible solutions.
Buddhdev Pandya, MBE, Honorary Corporate Advisor to BAPIO said:
The news from the Court is a good omen. However, we are happy
that the Minister has opened dialogue with BAPIO which may have
potential to resolve the problem