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NHS: Migrant Workers

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL13614, tabled on 11 February 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to work with (1) EU member states in general, and (2) Spain in particular, to ensure the UK is able to fill staff vacancies in the NHS after Brexit.

Answered on

25 February 2019

The Government is committed to ensuring that the National Health Service is able to recruit as many doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals from abroad, as it needs, once the United Kingdom has left the European Union. Our future immigration system will prioritise high and medium-skilled workers and the Tier 2 visa cap will be abolished. Aside from the salary threshold, which is the subject of ongoing engagement with employers, there will be no cap on numbers and the Government will also be removing the Resident Labour Market Test for skilled workers – this will remove a month from the process of recruiting a migrant. As we bring the EU into a new single immigration system we will make the existing sponsorship system more streamlined.

Additionally, the Government has introduced legislation that will largely maintain existing arrangements for the recognition of European health and care qualifications. European qualifications that are currently recognised automatically by UK regulators (doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and pharmacists), will continue to be recognised after the UK leaves the EU. European qualifications that are not accepted automatically will continue to be assessed against the standard of UK qualifications, as is currently the case.

The future arrangement for the recognition of European health and care qualifications, including Spanish qualifications, is subject to the outcome of negotiations on the UK’s future economic partnership with the EU.