Theresa May to lift visa cap on non-EU doctors ‘within weeks’
Theresa May is reportedly preparing to lift the cap on doctors able to move to the UK from outside the EU within a matter of weeks.
The Prime Minister is expected to act after the NHS warned restricting the number of medics allowed into Britain is leading to staff shortages.
It comes amid pressure to review the cap more generally, and weeks after she was accused of blocking requests by former Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to relax the rules for the sector.
The Telegraph reports Government sources saying discussions are at a “fairly developed stage”, on how to carry out lifting the cap on “tier 2” visas, of which there are 20,700 a year.
It comes after official figures revealed that 1,518 bids for visas by foreign doctors were rejected in the four months to March.
The revelation comes after Home Secretary Sajid Javid effectively backed the Prime Minister into a corner by confirming he was looking at how restrictions on medical workers could be loosened.
"I see the problem with that and it is something that I’m taking a fresh look at," he told the Andrew Marr show.
"I know a number of my colleagues certainly want me to take a look at this and that’s exactly what I’m doing, and I hope to think about this more carefully and see what can be done,”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who today becomes the longest-serving Health Secretary, having served in the role since 2012 is understood to favour excluding doctors and nurses from the cap until the Government’s planned 25% increase in training places starts to feed through.