Indian doctors win work status case in Britain

April 30th, 2008 - 5:25 pm ICT by admin  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, April 30 (IANS) The House of Lords, Britain’s highest court, Wednesday ruled in favour of thousands of Indian doctors, saying a government bid to make retrospective changes to their work status in Britain was unlawful. The ruling followed a move by the British Department of Health to overturn an Appeals Court decision in October 2007 that had also ruled in favour of the Indian doctors, who have formed a pressure group called the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO).

The department had issued a ‘guidance’ to the state-owned National Health Service - Britain’s largest health sector employer - saying doctors who had come to Britain under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) visa should be considered for a training post only if there were no suitable European or British candidates.

After the Court of Appeals ruling, the Department of Health appealed to the House of Lords, and Wednesday’s ruling against the department delighted Indian campaigners.

“The House of Lords has vindicated our position that the government had acted in haste and prematurely without thinking through the damaging consequences for thousands of international medical graduates that its retrospectively applied unfair regulations were likely to impose,” said BAPIO president Ramesh Mehta.

The BAPIO case was fought by high-profile NRI human rights lawyer Rabinder Singh.

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