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Complete Freedom of Movement in the UK – Hope for a Better Healthcare


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Complete freedom of movement in the UK - The UK’s hope for a better healthcare

 How the UK is Gearing up the Health Sector? 

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This phrase that my parents used to tell me when I was a child always pops into my head whenever I see a doctor or a nurse. I think a lot of people are familiar with this idiom.

The NHS (National Health Service)

In comparison to a lot of countries in the world, the UK is extremely lucky to have the NHS. In other countries, healthcare or a decent quality healthcare can only be accessed by an individual who either has money and/or insurance.

Whereas in the UK, provided that you are entitled to, based on your residence conditions, you have access to world-leading treatments, equipment, and staff.  As people say, “the best things in life are free”.

However, as glorious as the NHS is, the NHS isn’t perfect. One of the major problems with it is due to the lack of staff, especially, nurses and doctors. Due to the severe shortages of staff in the NHS, the quality of care provided to patients are being directly affected.

The BBC’s article suggests that “more than 30,000 extra nurses and almost 3,000 GPs”[1] are needed in the UK to satisfy the demand.

How to solve the shortage problem?

The government has increased the training places for doctors and nurses by 25%. However, the problem with this is that it takes time to train doctors and nurses. This could be the long-term plan to solve and ensure that not only do we reduce the shortage of doctors and nurses in the future but to also prevent it from taking place in the first place.

The short-term solution is to recruit doctors and nurses from overseas. However, the recruitment process is not being aided by the Home Office if 2360 doctors were refused on a five-month basis alone.[2] A complete freedom of movement for doctors and nurses will allow the NHS to be able to hire doctors and nurses easily and within a short period of time to solve its crisis.

What is Matt Hancock’s pledge?

Matt Hancock’s pledge is to allow complete freedom of movement for medics regardless of where they come from.

He added that “the only limitations should be the right qualification, a job offer and an ability to speak English”.

Mr. Hancock’s pledge goes further than the Home Secretary’s previous move to temporarily relax the Immigration Rules for doctors and nurses by exempting them from the Tier 2 visas cap. If it is enacted in the future, this will mean that it would be a lot easier for the NHS to recruit doctors and nurses overseas in order to fill the shortage in the hospitals in the UK.

As with politics, we do not know if and ever a complete freedom of movement for doctors and nurses will be endorsed in the future and more importantly, what and how will the complete freedom of movement for doctors and nurses work and be structured?

For now, we are stuck with the Tier 2 regime for doctors and nurses.

Barar & Associates have an extensive experience on assisting employers and applicants from different sectors with their Tier 2 visa and sponsorship licence applications. Should you have any questions on your United Kingdom immigration status or would like to have a chat with us regarding an immigration matter in the United Kingdom, please do not hesitate to contact our professional team of immigration solicitors at or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via

If you want to read our article on the future of UK’s skills-based immigration system, you can do so by clicking on the links below:

Please click the link below if you want to read The Guardian’s coverage of Matt Hancock’s pledge:




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