Doctors may flee Nigeria as Britain lifts restriction on recruitment

Nigeria’s health crisis may worsen if doctors heed Britain’s lifting of the ban on the recruitment of foreign health workers.

Britain on Thursday reached a historic decusuon, with the lifting of ‘Tier 2’ restriction on the recruitment of non-European Union doctors by the National Heakth Service..

This means that doctors from Nigeria and other non-EU countries can cross over to Britain after the announcement of the decision by the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, on Friday,.

The lifting of the ban, which has prevented 2,300 doctors from getting work in Britain will take effect from the end of July.

A report in thesun.co.uk says official figures show that of 3,597 requests from doctors for a Tier 2 visa between November and April – only 34 per cent were successful.

But health trusts claim the NHS in England alone needs an estimated 9,982 doctors. Andrew Foster, chief exec of the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS hospital earlier this week said the ban on workers the NHS desperately needs was “bonkers”.

He said: “It’s absolutely barmy that one branch of government is trying to increase the capacity of the NHS and another branch is stopping it from doing so.”

A source told The Sun: “This is a pragmatic recognition of the long-term plans that need to be put in place for the NHS.

“Doctors and nurses will still count towards the overall migration numbers, but the cap won’t apply.”

Sajid Javid earlier this month said he wanted to review the cap given shortages across the Health Service. He is said to have been lobbying the PM privately for a change for weeks –alongside Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

But insiders last night insisted that the Prime Minister was in “full agreement” with her Cabinet Minister on the need for a change.

The cap will remain on other professions, The Sun reports.

The migration of doctors from Nigeria to foreign countries has been a major issue since the brain drain of the mid-80s.

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