Ever since its inception, Overseas Doctors/ International Medical Graduates (IMGS) have contributed to the National Health (NHS) Service in UK by their hard work and dedication. They filled a hard felt need for skilled doctors to provide the British public with quality health care. They came here as they were promised quality training and Equal Opportunities in job selection. Now, the UK government has introduced new regulations effective from July 2006, which has effectively curtailed all training arrangements for overseas doctors in one go. Instead of Permit Free training, they will be required to have work permit for any post they apply. Also, employers will have the right to preferentially employ UK/EU graduates in favour of non-EU doctors, irrespective of skills or qualification and irrespective of visa status. This effectively ends the Equal Opportunities policy and favours discrimination. This policy was announced without any consultation or grace period and has left thousands of IMGs high and dry. While some form of manpower planning was definitely required in view of the job crisis facing junior doctors, the precipitate manner in which this has been done is highly objectionable. The implications are far reaching. These include:
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