Protecting our NHS means amongst other ways, standing back for a moment and taking a cold hard look at the government’s immigration policy and the new points-based system due to become law as from 1st January next.
Anyone who has an ounce of humanity and compassion can not but help be moved by the thousands of ‘ low skilled ‘ workers ( a term commonly associated with Britain’s policy on immigration control ), presently risking their own lives, by working in COVID wards in hospitals up and down the country, as cleaners, porters, ambulance drivers, clinical waste disposal handlers, washers uppers and so on. These workers are mostly migrants and contribute immensely to both directly or indirectly saving lives and assisting our doctors and nurses and other professionals in challenging times.
Yet it is these very workers who will not be in a position to come to the UK once the new immigration rules kick in next year.
Of course, I am not denying that there has to be immigration control and proper safeguards put in place in that respect, but where our most prized possession is under threat, because, amongst other reasons, of staff shortages, I see no reason why an annual reviewable cap plus an interview for those applying for positions within the NHS to confirm bona fides, can not form part of our rules. I see no reason why our NHS cannot be given a separate status within our rules.
Here is the irony:- the whole point of the new immigration rules is to control migration by allowing into the country only skilled workers. But it is those very skilled workers who are now being cared for and protected by the unskilled!
Will the pandemic have shaken the attitude of our Home Secretary and reset the button, so that when it is over, and life returns to relative normality, the attitude to immigration might change for the protection of our NHS?
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