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COVID-19 and the International Medical Graduate

Hello, it’s been a minute. I have a good excuse. I was blessed with a baby girl and have been overwhelmed by her cuteness. How have you been keeping in these COVID times? I am on maternity leave and everyday my heart beats faster thinking about all my beloved friends and colleagues on the frontline. My prayers are with you.

Pre-Covid IMG work situation

I can’t help but reflect at this time about how important International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are to the UK population. The NHS workforce statistics show that 29% of doctors are non-British nationals, 19% of which were non-EU nationals. Traditionally, a lot of lip service has been paid to the appreciation UK citizens feel for the non-UK citizens that serve in the NHS.

However, on the day to day, IMGs feel marginalised in every possible way. People are unable to understand when you speak English; which cab drivers always hear succinctly by the way. We read about disproportionate sentencing of BAME doctors compared to White colleagues committing similar offences. Then there are the day to day micro aggressions from patients and colleagues. I wonder, if any of the people who used to specifically request to be seen by a white doctor, when they got infected with the virus, did they still care about the care provider’s skin colour as they struggled to breathe? Or if colleagues who thought the training an IMG had received was substandard still feel that way as they take up arms, side by side in this battle against COVID-19.

The change of all medical jobs to the Shortage Occupation List was very welcome. It changed the situation so that now all applicants have equal footing for training jobs. Sadly amidst jubillations over that, there is news of a planned increase to the cost of the health surcharge. These are only a few examples of the struggles IMGs face. Last year, the Health and Social Care Minister Matt Hancock; gave NHS organisations his support in not condoning racist abuse. Whilst admirable, how effective is that as a solution to the microaggressions?

There are petitions being made to the government to grant Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) to all IMGs on NHS frontlines. I wonder if it will be successful. Already, the government has extended visas by a year, for all those whose visas expire before the 1st of October 2020.

What will work be like after Corona?


There will probably be a gold rush for IMGs post the worst of the pandemic. It would be a good time for people who have considered moving to the UK to take advantage of whatever measures the government will put in place to make the move attractive. There are already changes like those mentioned above which have made it easier to access training as an IMG.


I anticipate a new order once the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over. A UK where IMGs are appreciated as experts who bring their knowledge and skill to improve the health of UK residents. A clime that appreciates and respects people regardless of their ethnicity or the country where they trained. I am hopeful for government policies that reflect the value that IMGs bring to the system. Too hopeful? Maybe. If I had to choose a single lesson that the pandemic and the social distancing have taught me, it would be hope. Hope for a better world for everyone.


If you have questions about moving or working in the UK post a comment, send an email or book a consultation. Subscribe to receive notifications about new posts.

Changes that took place

A lot can happen in six weeks which is when I wrote but did not publish this article. The government has bowed to pressure to review the health surcharge. Th petition to grant automatic ILR was denied. George Floyd was tragically murdered by policemen. The world finally cried out with one voice against racism. GMC exams for 2020 were cancelled and a lot of dreams are on hold as a result. Matt Hancock could not answer in an interview how many black people there were in the cabinet.

Vous pourrez ressentir une augmentation du nombre des effets indésirables et de leur gravité. Les doses supérieures à mg n’augmentent pas l’efficacité du produit. Instructions en cas d’omission d’une ou de plusieurs doses. cialispascherfr24.com Risque de syndrome de sevrage.

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