Foreign dentists and nurses will have it easier to work in the NHS

Summary: Thousands of employees trained abroad will be able to enter the UK thanks to a change in the registration process, the government claims.

As soon as the legislature reconvenes on Monday, ministers will submit legislation to address the NHS’s escalating workforce shortage by facilitating the entry of foreign nurses and dentists to the UK.

The action is a part of a push by the health secretary, Steve Barclay, to boost overseas hiring in order to fill labor deficits in the health and social care sectors.

According to Barclay, new regulations that make it simpler for medical regulators to register individuals with foreign credentials will result in the hiring of thousands of healthcare professionals. If the reform is effective, it will open the door for more nurses and dentists from nations like India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, the Philippines, and Malaysia to work in Britain.

The move comes days after new data revealed that the number of open positions in the NHS in England increased by more than 25,000 in only three months earlier this year, reaching a record 132,139—one in ten of the whole workforce. That included 46,828 nursing-specific job openings, or 11.8% of the total.

The number of nurses arriving in Britain from the EU has dramatically decreased as a result of Brexit.

According to a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) memo obtained by the Guardian, a statutory instrument will be introduced in the House of Commons on Monday to allow the organizations that oversee the licensing of nurses and dentists to authorize the hiring of more foreign-trained personnel.

The secondary legislation will be known as the Dentists, Dental Care Professionals, Nurses, Nursing Associates, and Midwives (International Registrations) Order 2022, and it won’t require a complete legislative process to adopt it.

It is evident from this that the DHSC wants to streamline what it sees as needlessly complicated processes that prevent foreign workers from entering the NHS.

According to the statement, “Aspects of the current statutory standards for registering international dentists make it challenging and time-consuming for the General Dental Council (GDC) to make adjustments to its registration.

The memo adds that the order “would give the GDC additional freedom to make adjustments to its Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) process and to explore other registration options for overseas applicants, such as recognition of programs of education provided outside the UK on a unilateral basis,” the document continues.

The British Dental Association stated that while the government’s initiative to make it easier for more dental professionals from outside to enter the country was welcome, the rising NHS dentist shortfall that has left millions of patients with major access issues will still persist.

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