Doctors from outside the EU will be prevented from applying for postgraduate training posts in the UK when new immigration rules come into force.
The Home Office has outlined new regulations to prevent overseas doctors applying for foundation and speciality training posts after complaints that homegrown doctors are unable to find jobs once they graduate.
The rules would see a drop of between 3,000 and 5,000 overseas applications when it first affects recruitment in 2009, officials estimate.
The rules will not affect doctors with medical jobs already here on the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). They will only apply to doctors currently not resident in the UK.
It is estimated that about 10,000 non-EU medical graduates are currently in the UK.
The Government planned to launch a consultation on guidance which says doctors currently in the UK on HSMP can only get a job here if there is no UK or EU doctor suitable for the role after an estimated 1,300 UK graduates missed out on a training post last year.
The Court of Appeal ruled in November that such guidance was unlawful, but the Government appealed against that decision.
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“This feels like clear racism by the Government. Why give HSMP then to doctors or indeed, anybody. Today it’s doctors; tomorrow it would be bakers who may have come on HSMP, then engineers and so on. I believe that new place-of-birth system is good like the Australian one; but by following that they should also have Australian rules about giving doctors positions. This is like asking a guest to come home to eat leftovers.” – Name and contact details supplied