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Indian Doctors in Britain Lose Legal Battle

nce that no consultations were held before the changes were announced.

Lakshman said: "It is disappointing that the judge concluded that there was no obligation on the government departments to consult. It leaves voluntary organisations such as ours, in some serious doubts about genuineness of consultations that are designed to encourage greater engagement for influencing policy development".

Commenting on petitioner Yousaf's death, the Voice of Britain's Skilled Immigrants (VBSI), a forum campaigning against various changes to immigration rules affecting a large number of professionals, most of them Indians, said: "On the day when the verdict in the case initiated by Dr Imran Yousaf (and BAPIO) is to be announced, it is very saddening to have learnt of his suicide apparently instigated by the turmoil caused by the Home Office's refusal to grant him a further leave to remain in the UK. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends".

The immigration changes had created alarm and panic among thousands of doctors from outside the EU, particularly those from the subcontinent. Until then, doctors from outside the EU, including from India, were able to take up NHS jobs under what was called 'permit-free training' schemes.

Their jobs were considered part of training that did not require work permits. Thousands of Indian doctors were employed under the scheme and were usually hired for short-term periods of one or two years. The doctors would need to find new posts after their term expired.

But from April 3, 2006, it was made mandatory for employers to obtain work permits before employing these doctors after making a case to prove that no British or EU doctor could perform the same job.

This rule effectively ruled out any chance of employment for non-EU doctors. The employment situation for Indian doctors was anyway very difficult, with thousands of them unemployed and reduced to living in
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