The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the British Medical Association (BMA) have raised their concerns over a suspected crisis in the NHS to occur if proposals to restrict migration from outside the EU outlined by David Cameron are ratified.
The policy primarily targets nurses from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) working in the NHS who earn less than £35,000 after a six year residency and will result in their deportation. Theresa May has stated that this policy will “ensure that only the brightest and the best remain permanently”, ensuring that there is a reduction in seeking migrant workers in the NHS.
However, the chief executive for the RCN, Dr Peter Carter has expressed how imposing a threshold on migrant workers will mean that recent years of almost £40m of funding being put towards hiring overseas nurses will be wasted. He went on further to say, “the UK will be sending away nurses who have contributed to the health service for six years. Losing their skills and knowledge and then having to start the cycle again and recruit to replace them is completely illogical.”
Labour Shadow Health Minister, Andrew Gwynne states that migrant nurses in the NHS were recruited because of existing shortages in hospitals across the UK.
Patient safety will be compromised as over 3000 jobs could be at risk, with a figure predicted to exacerbate to 6,620 by 2020, “at a cost of £39.7million”, according to the RCN.