What colour is your passport?
New UK immigration rules will force many international medical graduates to reconsider leaving their home country for training in Britain. But in other nations, writes Toby Reynolds, restrictions are being eased
The prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, visited the United Kingdom towards the end of 2006. One issue that he raised with his UK counterpart, Tony Blair, related to the fate of thousands of doctors trained in India, who felt cheated by the recent changes to immigration rules, which might force many of them to return home.
Doctors trained abroad have shored up the UK's NHS since its inception. From 1985, international medical graduates (IMGs) have been able to take training posts in the NHS without a work permit. Many of these doctors came from the Indian subcontinent, where training is similar and English is well spoken.
Their presence has been welcomed by a health system without enough graduates of its own. But in the past few years, as European migration and a 50% rise in UK medical school intake have started to fill this deficit, the government has reappraised