Thousands of Pinoy Nurses in UK May be Deported Due to New Immigration Rules

Filipino nurses

Thousands of foreign nurses, including Pinoys in the UK may lose their jobs and may be deported due to the new immigration rules. According to the British government, the implementation will start next year, and that the affected health workers are those who are migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Once the new immigration rules will be implemented, all foreign nurses in UK who are receiving a salary of below £35,000 (around P2.48 million) after six years of employment may be subject for deportation. The Home Office, the British immigration office, the purpose is to reduce the demand of foreign nurses in the UK.

On the other hand, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) stated that nearly 3,365 foreign nurses will be affected, and were recruited at a cost of more than £20 million. By year 2020, the affected number of nurses is being expected to reach 6,620, who were employed at a cost of £39.7 million.

To avoid deportation, the data from the National Health Services (NHS) and RCN showed that these nurses should be promoted to a senior nurse level or a nurse consultant to be able to reach the required £35,000 salary level.

Nonetheless, the RCN emphasized that the move could only lead to shortage of nurses and other medical personnel in the UK. According to Dr. Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, the British government will be sending away credible nurses, and that it will be hard to replace them.

“The immigration rules for health care workers will cause chaos for the NHS and other care services. At a time when demand is increasing, the UK is perversely making it harder to employ staff from overseas.” Dr. Peter Carter said in a statement. A newly qualified nurse in the UK has an average annual salary of £21,000 (around P1.5 million).

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron defended the move, saying that there is an existing training program for medical professionals under his administration, and that shortage of nurses is very unlikely to happen. He even commended the Home Office for implementing the new immigration rules.

Based on the data from the Nursing & Midwifery Council, there are more than 20,000 Pinoy nurses in the UK this 2015, contributing the highest number of foreign nurses in Britain. As of posting, the Philippine government or the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has not yet commented on this issue.

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