UK PM Johnson refuses to back down on ‘unfair’ surcharge on foreign doctors

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday rejected any hope of reviewing the imposition of “unfair” surcharges on foreign doctors, including Indians working in Britain’s state-funded National Health Service.

Many professional associations for doctors in the UK have campaigned against the annual immigration health surcharge (IHS) imposed by foreign employees to raise additional funds for the NHS as they contribute directly to healthcare.

Leader of the opposition Labor Party, KIR Starr, on Wednesday backed his campaign in the House of Commons amid questions from the weekly prime minister when he asked Johnson if he felt the surcharge on NHS doctors and nurses was “justified”.

“I have given a lot of thought to this and I accept and understand the difficulties faced by our amazing NHS staff. I have been a personal beneficiary of people and carers who have come from abroad and have openly saved my life, ”said Johnson, referring to his COVID-19 hospitalization last month during which he was cared for Was done by foreign economics.

“I know that they really matter. On the other hand, we must look at the realities that this is a great national service, a national institution that needs funding and contributions that actually help us raise around £ 900 million. In current circumstances it is very difficult to find alternative sources, so I think this is the right way to proceed.

The IHS, launched in April 2015, is imposed on anyone in the UK for work, study or family visas for more than six months and is set to increase from £ 400 to £ 624 per year.

The total payment is seen as prohibitive in many cases over and above the payment of tax, with fees applicable to each member of a family.

In a letter written by the Doctors Association UK to UK Home Secretary Preeti Patel this week, Chairman of Indian origin Dr. Ritesh Parmar described the surcharge as “deeply unfair” and reviewed the government’s move to dismiss the previous statement. Groin insult “to medics on the coronovirus front.

“At a time when we are mourning our allies who are refusing to reconsider your unreasonably profoundly inappropriate immigration health surcharge, it is a gross insult to all who are in greatest need of this country Are serving at the time of, “the letter notes.

In terms of the British government’s new skills, “it is not only a betrayal of all these hardworking people, but represents a deterrent to attracting talented and skilled workers to Britain”. Based post-Brexit immigration strategy, which approved its second reading in the House of Commons this week.

According to a recent Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) study, Indian NHS and British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) make up one in all 10 foreign doctors, representing the group. Has been campaigning against the IHS for years and recently wrote to the UK PM on the issue in March.

“We believe this surcharge is discriminatory and unfair, because foreign workers are already paying their share in national insurance contributions, superannuation and income tax,” the BAPIO letter said.

“We request you to remove the health surcharge with immediate effect. NHS has been in a workforce crisis for many years, but now with the COVID-19 epidemic, there has never been a worse time for an overstrained service, and we need all the help we can get to meet the challenges. ” .

The UK Home Office announced a free visa extension and an annual IHS waiver for NHS medics whose visas were scheduled to expire by October, to provide “peace of mind” for them as they take the deadly fight against the country. Viruses in hospitals.

Doctors ‘unions hoped the exemption could be made permanent as the “smallest recognition” of foreign doctors’ contributions to the UK’s healthcare. However, Johnson’s latest statement in Parliament would be a major blow to his campaign.

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