Kerala govt issues clarification after receiving criticism for healthcare recruitment pact with NHS partner – UKMALAYALEE

Kerala govt issues clarification after receiving criticism for healthcare recruitment pact with NHS partner

Friday 14 October 2022 6:30 AM UTC

NORKA Roots Vice Chairman P Sreeramakrishnan issued the press statement yesterday

LONDON Oct 14: The new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Kerala government with NHS partner last week in London will help to stop the fraud recruitment agents from exploiting the healthcare workers in Kerala, says a govt press note released yesterday.

In a press note issued to clarify and defend the agreement it says that Norka is trying to curb this trend. Ordinary candidates can be freed from exploitation to some extent through the new agreement.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in London last week to enable the professional migration of health professionals from Kerala to the UK through safe and legal means.

The MoU was signed by NORKA Roots, on behalf of the Kerala government, with the Humber and North Yorkshire Health & Care Partnership, one of 42 Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) that provide NHS (National Health Service) services, and Navigo, which provides mental health services for the Health Service in North East Lincolnshire. The recruitment process in India is supported by Navigo, a core member of the Humber and North Yorkshire Health & Care Partnership.

The press note said that the main criticism about the agreement signed last week was that NORKA had signed a memorandum of understanding with a private organization without central approval, and that the said memorandum of understanding was not new, as there is currently a situation for health workers to migrate to the UK for work.

What is NORKA

The press note clarified further about NORKA Roots’ roles and responsibilities. NORKA Roots is a field agency of the Kerala government working for the welfare, development and rehabilitation of the expatriate Malayalis.

NORKA Roots is also an international recruitment agency with license granted by the Protector General of Emigration in the Union Ministry of External Affairs under the Emigration Act 1983.

Norka Roots, a state government body, can enter into statutory recruitment agreements with companies, government and private agencies.

But since it is a recruitment agreement involving government agencies of both the countries, the draft MoU on this matter was submitted for political clearance by the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the clearance was received on 03-10-2022 itself.

The NORKA Roots Memorandum of Understanding was finalized by including and following the instructions of the Union Ministry of External Affairs.

What is Integrated Care Boards

NHS England established 42 statutory integrated care boards (ICBs) on 1 July 2022 in line with its duty in the Health and Care Act 2022. This was as part of the Act’s provisions for creating integrated care systems (ICSs).

ICSs are partnerships of NHS bodies and local authorities, working with other relevant local organisations, that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services to improve the lives of people in their area.

Each ICS has an integrated care board, which is a statutory NHS organisation responsible for developing a plan in collaboration with NHS trusts/foundation trusts and other system partners for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the NHS budget and arranging for the provision of health services in the defined area.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were closed down on 1 July 2022 when integrated care boards were established on a statutory basis.

The Humber and North Yorkshire Health & Care Partnership is the partnership system in the Humber and North Yorkshire region. So it is completely a government system.

MoU and Loka Kerala Sabha meet

The MoU was decided to be handed over at the same venue as the Europe and UK Regional Conference of the Lok Kerala Sabha was scheduled to meet on October 9 in London.

Dave Howarth, (Deputy Head, International Health and Social Care Recruitment Task Force) participated in the ceremony in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

As this agreement progresses, Norka Roots may have access to 41 other Care Partnerships in the UK and the potential for recruitment in the future.The agreement also paves the way for non-nursing recruitment opportunities and mutual collaboration in the health sector, the press note said.

Such significant and unparalleled recruitment opportunities have been realized through this concept, added the note.

NORKA Roots will be the first in India to enter into a recruitment agreement with ICBs effective July 1, 2022.

NORKA Roots is the start of a systematic recruitment process that enables not only nurses but also other healthcare professionals and other professions to immigrate to the UK.

Nowhere has Norka Roots made any claim that nursing recruitment to UK is possible only through Norka Roots.

At present, nursing recruitment to the UK is possible through the NORKA route as well.Opportunities for that exist in the health sector in UK.

However, under the agreement that has just been signed, immigration to the UK is possible not only for nursing professionals, but also for other health and non-health related professionals.

Moreover, those who perform well in the interview will also have the opportunity to receive an offer letter through NORKA Roots, with conditions without OET/IELTS specifying language proficiency.

After receiving the offer letter it is enough to meet the said qualification. To make this a reality, NORKA will take the initiative to launch the Institute for Foreign Languages.

Due consideration will also be provided to economically backward candidates.

Candidates who have passed BSC Nursing even if they don’t have enough score in OET/IELTS still have a chance to get a job as a Senior Carer in UK.

Only doctors who have passed the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) test are usually granted a work visa to the UK. But there is an opportunity for specialist doctors to go and practice in UK through sponsorship without passing PLAB.

Sponsorship eligibility is limited to certain health systems in the UK. Many organizations including Navigo, which are part of the new MoU, have this qualification. This allows specialist doctors to travel to the UK without further qualification.

An extensive UK Job Fest in Kochi in the month of November followed by job events held twice a year is the benefit of this MoU.

In the first phase, about 3000 candidates from the health and other sectors of Kerala will be offered employment opportunities in the UK under the new agreement.

These are the facts and individuals and the media are requested to refrain from false and misleading propaganda from some quarters, ended the note.

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