The Conservative government’s attitude to health workers from abroad is: Cut off our nose to spite our face

Trainee GP Luke Ong.

Student doctor Luke Ong, from Singapore, had a bright career ahead of him in the NHS, until he applied for indefinite leave to stay in the UK.

He needed this permission to complete his GP training – but did not realise that the application isn’t made when you actually apply; it is made when you attend the appointment.

That’s not his mistake – it’s an apparent misdirection by the Tory government.

And it means a promising young trainee doctor has become a potential drain on the very health service he should be boosting.

Meanwhile, as demand for expertise in the NHS is rising, the Tories are paying £100 million for the opportunity to throw that expertise out of the country.

This situation will not change while we have a Conservative government.

Tories like hurting foreigners – we have the air strike on Syria as a recent demonstration of that fact. It wasn’t to protect anybody because that’s not what it will achieve!

And they like degrading the National Health Service too – the insanity of paying large amounts of money to break a valuable help to the public means nothing to them.

Remember this, if you are voting in the local elections on May 3.

A year ago I had a stable job working as a trainee GP in Greater Manchester and was due to qualify in February this year. I was in a relationship, had my own car and everything was great.

But for the last eight months my life has been a living hell.

My troubles began towards the end of last year when I applied for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. I am from Singapore. I was five months away from qualifying as a GP and had studied medicine at Manchester University, starting as a doctor in the NHS in 2012.

I booked an appointment and paid for it before my visa ran out. I thought that was fine. In reality, the application is made when you attend the appointment, by which time my visa had been invalid for 18 days. I was refused residency for that reason, and since then it’s been a battle to reverse the decision. An immigration judge ruled that it “would not be proportionate” to remove me; the Home Office lodged an appeal. My lawyer told me on Friday morning it is reconsidering my original application.

Everything flies in the face of common sense. NHS England is paying £100m to recruitment agencies to get GPs to work in England and here I am, five months away from becoming a GP, and I’m being kicked out. Meanwhile, demand in the NHS is rising and GP numbers are falling.

I’m not entitled to benefits so I’ve been living off my savings and help from my parents.

My mental health has deteriorated.

Source: I’ve been an NHS doctor for five years. The Home Office wants to deport me | Healthcare Professionals Network | The Guardian

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