Commenting on the Home Office announcement that it will increase the minimum salaries that overseas workers must earn to come to the UK, the chief executive of medical defence organisation MDDUS, Chris Kenny, said:
“We are proud to count numerous overseas doctors as our members. We are on their side in the same way we are for doctors who qualified in the UK.
“It is my hope that the strong language on curbing immigration issued by the Home Office does not unintentionally worsen what we know can already be a challenging work environment for international medical graduates (IMGs).
“Because this is about patient safety as well as the experience of overseas doctors in the UK. How can we assume that patients are safe unless they are being treated by doctors who are settled, comfortable and confident in their places of work?
“It is pure self-interest for policy makers to make sure that this is the case.
“And that’s because when we asked our IMG members about their experiences of everyday racist microaggressions at work, almost two-thirds reported they’d be subject to this kind of abuse regularly.
“Of even more concern was that 72% said they hadn’t reported these incidents because they didn’t think they’d be taken seriously.
“Studies have shown that these 'subtle racist' interactions cause significant distress. The term 'micro' doesn't mean that the impact on the victim is small.”
Mr Kenny added: “We will be watching to understand further how, or if, the exemption mentioned in the footnotes of James Cleverly’s statement will include salaries for doctors in training.
“However, even if this is confirmed to be the case, what remains concerning is the potential impact of this type of government rhetoric on the supply of overseas doctors the NHS currently relies on.”
The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) is a mutual organisation that protects the professional interests of more than 56,000 doctors and dentists across the United Kingdom, offering access to indemnity, support and legal advice.
We have launched a campaign called We Hear You because we believe that no medical professional should be subjected to behaviour from patients or colleagues that, intentionally or unintentionally, calls into question their experience and abilities as a doctor or dentist.
For further information, please contact Alison Hardie, head of strategic communications and public affairs, on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07501 421398
This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.