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Friday, June 21, 2024

Labour and Tory Migration Plans Spell Danger for Scotland’s NHS

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Westminster’s plans spell danger for Scotland’s NHS and the ability to recruit staff, the SNP has warned, after it was revealed earlier today that health and care worker visa applications are down 76% this year as a result of Brexit and the Tories’ “short-sighted” migration restrictions.

Just 12,400 people applied for the Health and Care Worker visa from January to April this year, according to UK government statistics, compared to 50,900 applications in the same period last year.

Changes implemented by the UK government mean overseas health workers now have a minimum salary requirement of £38,700 – higher than the starting salary for many NHS staff including junior doctors and newly qualified nurses.

Commenting, the SNP’s health spokesperson, Amy Callaghan MP said:

“These are alarming figures which prove that the Tories’ short-sighted migration plans will be catastrophic for Scotland’s NHS and our ability to recruit qualified staff. 

“The fact the Tories are celebrating such a drop in visa applications when the NHS across the UK faces staffing problems shows extraordinary blindness and carelessness.

“But it’s not just the Tories’ whose plans spell danger for Scotland’s valued health service.

“Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party are actively ignoring the reality and Scotland’s needs with their support for Brexit and promises to cut net migration.

“And with his Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, lining up to open the door to privatisation while claiming ‘all roads lead to Westminster’, it’s clear we can’t trust our NHS in their hands either.

“The Westminster parties seem desperate to ignore the acute demographic challenges Scotland faces – higher levels of migration are vital to help ensure that our NHS can continue to deliver for those it serves.

“If Westminster won’t take the necessary steps to ensure Scotland’s public services are protected then it must deliver the necessary powers to Holyrood so that we can. 

“The people of Scotland deserve better than this. Decisions made at Westminster by governments we don’t vote for continue to cause enormous damage, and it’s gone on for too long.

“For MPs who will stand up for Scotland’s NHS, vote SNP at the next election.”

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