By A Staff Reporter

LONDON Jan 14: Prominent doctors’ organisations have written to the home secretary, Priti Patel, urging her to change the current rules relating to adult dependent relatives (ADR) visas, as they say, it has heart-wrenching consequences on medical practitioners in the UK.

In a letter dated January 13, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), as well as five other organisations, wrote to Patel noting that existing ADR rules have put an immense emotional burden on medical practitioners in the UK, depriving them of the ability to discharge their filial obligations.

Under current rules, UK residents whose elderly parents live abroad are able to bring them to this country provided they (residents) can prove that they require long-term personal care they cannot get in their home country, either due to cost or availability.

According to the letter, this has led to doctors being forced to move back into their home countries or migrating to Australia, Canada or the US.

The lost ‘professional capital’ of many of these doctors is affecting an already stretched medical workforce with a direct adverse impact on patient safety, the letter to the home secretary said.

BAPIO said a survey it carried out in August 2020 showed that 91 per cent of respondents reported having feelings of anxiety, stress and helplessness due to this issue. It added that nearly 60 per cent felt that this adversely affected their work and professionalism and 80 per cent have thought about relocating.

The impact of the rules has been to permanently separate elderly parents from their UK settled children, and this has had a considerable impact on the mental health of our members, with many reporting increased stress and anxiety over the welfare of their parents, and their care, the letter added.

It cited a 2016 Home Office review (of the adult-dependent relative rules), prior to the rule change in 2012 when 2,325 applications were made a year to bring adult dependents over to the UK, a relatively small number (approximately 0.0069 per cent of total immigration to the UK and 0.011 per cent of all non-EU immigration). This had fallen to just 162 applications in 2016.

There is no statistical evidence to suggest that the cost of lifting these restrictions for doctors on the NHS would be a burden to the taxpayer, according to the latter.

BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta said: “The sheer stress of our NHS workers here having to battle with Covid-19 is hard enough without them having to worry about elderly parents thousands of miles away.

No family should be without a grandparent, wherever that is possible. I know of several senior doctors who have been faced with dividing their time between their frontline work and having to tend to elderly parents sick with Covid in India.

The best reward they can get is for the government to do the right thing here and make the rules flexible.

Chair of BAPIO, Dr JS Bamrah, said, “Too often immigrants fall into a second tier and in this case, there is a real necessity on compassionate grounds for the government to allow NHS staff to bring their elderly parents to the UK to meet their needs.

BAPIO sent the letter in association with the British Medical Association, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Association of Pakistani Physicians of Northern Europe.

Doctors’ organisations in UK urge Priti Patel to change adult dependent relatives visa rules for migrants

LONDON Jan 12: The UK authorities on Tuesday praised India’s non secular range and its “rich tapestry of religious minorities alongside its sizable Hindu majority” throughout a debate within the House of Commons complicated and highlighted the vital work being finished to advertise UK-India interfaith dialogue on tackling shared world challenges.

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) minister Nigel Adams, who responded to a debate entitled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” on behalf of the federal government because the Minister for Asia, assured MPs that any “difficult issues” round human rights are raised in a free and open method with Indian counterparts on the ministerial and consular stage as he reiterated that India’s secular Constitution ensures equal rights to all residents.

“Those of us who have had the pleasure of visiting India know that it is a magnificent country. It is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world,” the minister stated.

“I can confirm that during the Foreign Secretary’s [Dominic Raab] visit to India in December, he raised a number of these human rights issues with his Indian counterpart, including the situation in Kashmir and our concern around many consular cases… we look to the government of India to address these concerns and protect the rights of people of all religions. That is in keeping with India’s Constitution and a proud and inclusive tradition,” he stated.

The debate, which came about at Westminster Hall inside the Houses of Parliament complicated in London, was known as by backbench members of Parliament led by Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP from Northern Ireland Jim Shannon, who sought to spotlight the “worrying and disturbing scale and trajectory” of the persecution being skilled in India by non-Hindus.

The debate concerned cross-party parliamentarians, together with Conservative Party MP Theresa Villiers and Labour MP Barry Gardiner, talking out in favour of India’s robust democratic and pluralistic credentials in addition to others who quoted from experiences to level to a rise within the persecution of Muslims and Christians in India over the previous few years.
Theresa Villiers challenged allegations of state involvement as she highlighted India as “a stable and increasingly prosperous home to around 200 million Muslims and 32 million Christians”.

“I argue that India’s record on minority faiths stands up to scrutiny. I do not accept that there is evidence of systemic or state-sponsored persecution of religious minorities,” stated Villiers, a former Cabinet minister.

“When it comes to protection of freedom of religion and belief, the more important focus of this House should be on places such as Pakistan, where forced marriage and forced conversion of young Hindu and Christian women is a serious problem, and from where Asia Bibi had to flee for her life after years of imprisonment, and China, where incarceration and oppression of Uyghur Muslims is, quite frankly, a disgrace,” she stated.

Labour’s Barry Gardiner pointed to letters he had acquired from his constituents in Brent North in London, which has a big Indian diaspora inhabitants, that expressed shock that elected British MPs are debating topics “attacking the government of India”, moderately than specializing in UK priorities such because the extreme influence of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I say this, not to minimise the subject… but to give ourselves a sense of humility and a little perspective about how we might feel, as parliamentarians, if legislators in India were to pronounce on our institutions from afar, putting us under the microscope in the same way that colleagues are doing for their Indian counterparts today,” he stated, as he pointed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking out strongly in opposition to so-called “cow vigilantes” to sentence the assaults as “criminal, illogical and unacceptable”.

The Indian High Commission in London issued a press release in relation to the backbench debate to emphasize India’s “centuries-old tradition of religious tolerance and harmonious co-existence of people of all faiths”.

“The people of India have due respect and regard for parliaments of the world, just as they regard their own as a most sacred institution of India’s democracy. However, we believe that debates and discussions serve useful purposes if they are based on facts, authentic information and a thorough and accurate perception of issues,” famous a High Commission assertion, because the mission confused that it stands prepared to have interaction with parliamentarians within the UK to current genuine details about India and dispel any misinformation being pedalled by vested pursuits.

“The large majority of people in India believe in fair play and the right to religious belief, but there are those – some in positions of power – who are not prepared to allow that,” stated DUP MP Jim Shannon, as he opened the talk.

“I reiterate that India is a great ally of the UK, but it must be possible to have constructive criticism among allies and friends,” he stated, including that he and a gaggle of others from Northern Ireland plan to fulfill the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Gaitri Issar Kumar, to debate the problems additional subsequent week.

UK hails India’s religious diversity, inclusive tradition in Parliament debate