Potters Bar’s MP speaks out against recruitment of foreign doctors and nurses

HERTSMERE MP James Clappison has urged the coalition Government to put a stop to the practice of hiring foreign doctors and nurses to fill healthcare vacancies in the UK.

He spoke out after immigration minister Damian Green revealed that a total of 2,995 health workers came to Britain for employment in 2010.

The figure is nearly half the total for 2009, however significant numbers of doctors and nurses are still being recruited from countries such as Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria where there are major health problems.

Mr Clappison, who has represented Potters Bar in Westminster since 1992, said: “These are countries with very great needs and we are recruiting their trained medical staff.

“We should be training more nurses here.”

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He went on to accuse the previous government of reneging on an international agreement, where ministers pledged the UK would not take on doctors and nurses from developing nations.

“I would like to see the coalition Government stop recruiting nurses from these countries as it has a real impact on their health services,” Mr Clappison added.

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A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We are determined to have an ethical approach to recruiting healthcare professionals from overseas.

“The code of practice for NHS employers involved in the international recruitment of healthcare professionals sets out guiding principles to promote high standards in recruitment from overseas and seeks to prevent targeted recruitment from developing nations who are experiencing shortages of healthcare staff.”

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