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Indian Doctors jubilant at court ruling

The Court of Appeal has upheld an appeal by BAPIO, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, and declared guidance issued by the Department of Health to NHS employers to be unlawful.

The Department of Health had issued guidance that all doctors from outside the UK and EEA, who did not have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, should only be considered for training posts if there were no suitable UK or EEA graduate. This policy, which the Department of Health was once again seeking to implement for the recruitment process in January 2008, ignored the rights of doctors in the UK under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. The Court has declared the policy to be unlawful and junior doctors on HSMP will now be able to apply for posts on equal terms.

Anthony Robinson, Solicitor at Linder Myers comments: “As is widely acknowledged, the NHS has for many years relied upon the contribution of doctors from overseas, and in particular the Indian sub-continent, in order to provide a quality service in times of shortage of UK doctors. Now that more UK graduates are coming through, the Department of Health has been trying to get round the rights of HSMP doctors who have already made the UK their home because it failed to plan ahead. This Judgment is welcomed by several thousand doctors working in the NHS whose careers have been under threat.”

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