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Indian Doctors File Appeal Against British Court Ruling

London: Indian doctors in Britain who were affected by the high court ruling of new immigration rules have lodged an appeal against the judgment. In the meantime health// authorities began shortlisting doctors, including Indians, for training jobs.

Even as Indian doctors in Britain, adversely affected by the February 9 high court ruling that disallowed a judicial review of new immigration rules, lodged an appeal against the judgment, the health authorities began shortlisting doctors, including Indians, for training jobs.

The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) filed the appeal on Thursday. The Department of Health and the Home Office have three weeks to respond to the appeal, after which it will be listed for hearing.

The new rules announced in April 2006 made it virtually impossible for doctors from outside the European Union to gain employment in the National Health Service (NHS).

Meanwhile, thousands of Indian doctors have been shortlisted during the ongoing recruitment drive for training jobs starting August 2007.

BAPIO had successfully campaigned with the health authorities to keep the new immigration rules in abeyance until the appeal was heard by the court. There are nearly 30,000 applicants for 22,000 jobs. After the BAPIO campaign, health authorities stated that "doctors with limited leave to enter/remain in the UK in immigration categories that allow them to work will be considered for shortlisting in Round 1 if their leave is current on 1st August".

Lakshman Raman, BAPIO vice-chair (Policy), told IANS: "We have evidence from Indian doctors who have written to us that the department of health has not considered immigration status for the shortlsiting.

"We have heard from quite a number of doctors saying they have been shortlisted for interviews. It is therefore also true that those who have not been shortlisted have not been successful because of othe r factors and not because of their nationality.

"We are therefore quite pleased about this".

As thousands of Indian doctors were pleased at being shortlisted, there were reports quoting angry doctors and parents that thousands of British junior doctors had not been shortlisted even though they met all the criteria. The new system of recruitment, called Modernising Medical Careers, has been criticized as having gone "disastrously wrong".

Thousands of such British doctors have decided to move to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other countries. The Daily Telegraph said it had been inundated with letters and emails from despairing doctors and their parents who "feel like crying".


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