IPPR warns NHS would 'collapse' without 57,000 EU workers
NHS staff from the European Union should be offered free British citizenship to save the health service from ‘collapse’, says a leading British think tank.
The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) said EU workers should be made a ‘generous citizenship offer’ so they don’t decide to work in another country in the wake of Brexit.
Chris Murray, who compiled the report, said:
‘There are currently around 57,000 EU nationals working in the English NHS, accounting for 5% of its workforce; one in 10 of the UK’s registered doctors is an EU national.
Without them the NHS would collapse.’
The report comes as new Office for National Statistics data finds net migration at 327,000 for the year to March 2016 – down 9,000 on the previous year, while net migration of EU nationals was 180,000.
The IPPR report said the £1,200 fee for British citizenship should be waived for NHS workers from the EU, any EU national who has lived in Britain for six years should be entitled to citizenship, including EU children educated in the UK, and all EU migrants should be offered indefinite leave to remain.
‘It is critical to public health that these workers do not seek jobs elsewhere.
All EU nationals who work for the NHS, or as locums in the NHS system, should be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
This offer should be organised by the regional NHS and mental health trusts, who would be responsible for writing to all NHS staff who are EU nationals to inform them of their eligibility.’
An ICM poll recently found 80 per cent of the public believes EU migrants living in Britain should be allowed to stay after Brexit, including 77 per cent of Leave voters.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.