Lamb: Government failing abysmally on GP target

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Last week a study highlighted that almost a million EU workers could leave the UK after Brexit simply because they “feel less welcome and valued” in the country and in their jobs.

The impact that is going to have on our health service and the wider economy is severe.

Today, it emerged that the Government is going to spend £100 million recruiting GPs from abroad .

More than half of the Government’s 5000 targeted increase in the number of GPs are going to be recruited in this way.  Other health workers will also be sought.

As well as the £100 million, each GP who comes from abroad will cost  taxpayers £1000 per year because of the Immigration Skills Charge. Surely the sensible thing to do would be to exempt the NHS when we need these people so badly. In fact, why have it at all? It seems to me like a silly nonsense to convince the Daily Mail that we’re doing something about immigration.

Norman Lamb said that the whole thing was absurd.

This is evidence of the abysmal lack of progress made by the government in meeting its pledge to recruit an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020.

Enormous sums that could have been spent on improving patient care will instead now be paid to recruitment agencies.

It is absurd that the NHS will also be hit with a hefty bill for recruiting doctors from abroad as a result of the government’s immigration skills charge.

Doctors and nurses should immediately be made exempt from this charge that is set to cost our health service millions of pounds.

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6 Comments

  • Brian Evans 31st Aug '17 - 8:48pm

    Surely, better still would be to make those EU doctors et al feel welcome (by giving them assured residence and legal rights the same as they have at present), so they don’t leave!
    And the best way to do this? tixerB! … yes, reverse Brexit!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 31st Aug '17 - 11:08pm

    Yes and , yet a better title headline:

    Government failing abysmally on …everything .

  • nigel hunter 31st Aug '17 - 11:25pm

    It is a sticking plaster on a big wound. Yes it will help but as you say those from the EU should be welcomed.
    This Immigration Skills charge is it over and above the cut that the agency itself will get?
    Putting more effort into recruiting our own from the 6th form onward’s would be a good idea.
    Is this talk from Hunt when he said there are more people than ever working in the NHS, or in other words, he added projected figures into his plans.

  • ian Gibbons 1st Sep '17 - 8:47am

    The decision to pay up to £100m to recruitment agencies (to recruit an additional 5,000 GPs (up to half of whom will come from overseas) is likely to fuel concerns over the planned sale (by Philip Dunne, Health Minister and MP for Ludlow) of NHS Professionals, a state-owned agency that oversees recruitment for a significant part of the NHS. The agency is estimated to save the NHS up to £70m a year by supplying staff more cheaply than private sector recruitment agencies – presumably the very agencies that will buy Healthcare Professionals!.

  • @ Ian Gibbons Yet another example of what Harold Macmillan described as selling off the family silver. I bet the neo-liberals would have sold off life belts on the Titanic.

  • nigel hunter 1st Sep '17 - 3:14pm

    The Tories believe in sell off, privatize not hold on to the family silver.With Healthcare Professionals sold off an American firm could purchase it , a back door way into the NHS.The Govnt will argue competition will be healthy. I would say it will increase costs as duplication will arise. All agencies getting their 10% cut. Better to leave Health Professionals in the system.

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