Not all international NHS workers eligible without spending a dime visa extension scheme – BBC Newsnight

published on July 8, 2020

The professed intentions have beengenerous the Krays lavish you are on thefront line in this back working nightand day thank you to all of thoseputting themselves in harm's way thework that you do make short merrycontribution risky this deadly box with

Such love and care and attention thecleaners the cooks the healthcareworkers of every description physiosradiographers pharmacist but there aresometimes been a gulf between thosefamous podiums and the reality for our

Health and social care workers not longago the government offered a free visaextension for a year to doctors nursesand paramedics to recognize theircontribution to the coronavirus effortsto recognize that their lives have been

On the line and that they shouldn't haveto pay for the privilege of helping tosave as but ministers didn't offer it toeveryone not to NHS support staff nor tosocial carers despite the fact thattheir lives had been imperiled as well

Arguably at times even more so and thefact that they are even less able to paythe fees some people think that this isunjust and wants to see the policychanged here's the timeline on the 31stof March the Home Secretary announced

The visa extension scheme for doctorsnurses and paramedics on the 29th ofApril the Home Secretary expanded thelist to 18 further professions includesradiographers midwives biologicalscientists podiatrists biochemists

Paramedics speech and languagetherapists to name but a few but itdoesn't include NHS support staffnursing assistants cleaners or Porter'sor virtually any of those who work inthe social care sector some of those

Much more likely to be encountering thevirus and who can certainly least affordto pay and that's whatshop me Arun is one of them a nursingassistant in East London originally fromIndia he unlike his doctor colleague

Won't be included in the free visaextension I'm taking risks risk of mylife and even for my family and I'mpaying so much taxes every month takingrisk for sake of you know people's lifesaving people life even then despite all

These paying 6006 thousand pounds torenew my visa from a home for wholefamily it is really not worth stayinghere unlike many of those in theexempted professions Aran has very closecontact with Kovac patients we need to

Run the coherent patients every fourhours while rolling the patient thepatient you know it was coffee and hewhen he vomited it was on my neck intoit went into my eyes and I was I can'ttell you I can't express how terrified I

Was and I had to go down and disinfectmyself we had to face all these everydaywhat do you think about when ministerssay that you're heroes it's like peoplepredict you know hypocrisy alone isn't

Alone far from it in social careexamples abound of those not included inthe scheme those we spoke to as to havetheir identities protected disappointedin a first place with a clapping andagain coming into not to be included and

It can't explain to anybody because whois going to is going to know what you'regoing throughif you are a holder of a tier 2 generalvisa we are not really entitled to anypublic funds even a free school meal for

A six-year-old son so on top of thesehuge fees that we're paying we don't getany kind of support so I've been in thiscountry for many years now andcontribute I just came yesterday andthey because they are doctors or because

They are you know Nazithey're exempted we are by somebody likeme I have my British child I have mychildren in this country and I'm workingyou know paying my caste the same job weare doing the same job and I'm gonna

Exempted the government says they don'thave enough information on social carersto exempt them they work from manifoldorganisations so it's harder to exemptthem than NHS staff but in Parliamentthere are those even on the government

Benches who don't agree and have tabledan amendment to next week's immigrationbill to include carers and hospitalsupport workers in the scheme thegovernment did the right thing we canhave an argument should have done it

Quicker for the NHS visas so why can wenot just apply the same principle inthese exceptional circumstances we're inat the moment for those care workerswe've been going out clapping onThursday night

Not just for NHS workers but for careworkers generally because nobody'sappreciated what an important job theyall do so for goodness sake let's makesure that their position here is safefor this foreseeable future so they can

Go on doing that crucial job many ofthose who clean us wash us feed us inour frailest days weren't born here ablack or minority ethnic and often poortypically they're barely noticed thiscrisis has changed that or it's supposed

To have done when these changes at thebaited in Parliament next week we'll seeto what extent those people still inviewnice good order so in response to ourfindings the Home Office told us the

Government is supporting NHS and othereligible health and care workers in astatement it added that it introduced afree one-year visa extension to around3,000 key frontline health workersincluding an exemption to the

Immigration health surcharge and hadexpanded the bereavement scheme to allNHS and social care workers

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