Thursday, 26 March 2020

Refugees could contribute in our present emergency

From last Monday's Commons debate:
Sir Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) (LD)
Is the Secretary of State aware that many people in the refugee community in the UK are qualified healthcare professionals? I have spoken to the refugee charity RefuAid, which says it has 514 qualified healthcare professionals on its books. These are people who are willing to work and fully qualified in their own country, but there are bureaucratic barriers to their coming forward. Will he please look into this matter with great urgency so that such people can help us out?

Matt Hancock
Yes. If the right hon. Gentleman emails me with the details, we will get right on to it. He refers to bureaucratic barriers; we of course have to make sure that people are able to do the work that is necessary, but we have already shown in the Bill that we are willing not ​only to bring people back into service but to put into service those who are towards the end of their training, to make sure that we get as many people as possible in full service. I absolutely want to pick up on the right hon. Gentleman’s proposal and take it up with the General Medical Council or the relevant regulator to see whether we can find a way through for the period of this crisis.

At last, a Conservative government which is willing to allow refugees to earn some money for themselves and to help their hosts. One hopes that this liberal conversion lasts beyond the current emergency. Of course, a lot now depends on the GMC.

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