Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Oral Parliamentary Question (OPQ)
    Date of Answer: 09.07.2007
    Column References: 462 c1171-2
    Member Tabling Question: Lilley, Peter
    Topic: Immigration Review
    Question: Given that the Health Department claims that we have a uniquely ethical policy of not recruiting doctors and nurses from Africa, will the Home Secretary, in her review, examine why the Home Office has issued more than 60,000 work permits to nurses and doctors from Africa since 2000, quite apart from the many issued to doctors and nurses from Asia? Although the issue was recently highlighted by the appalling fact that a handful of these people were apparently involved in terrorism, is it not also appalling that we are asset-stripping Africa of the resources that it so desperately needs to cure its own people?
    Answering Department: Home Office
    Member Answering Question: Smith, Jacqui
    Answer: Thanks to the considerable investment that the Government have put into training medical staff and ensuring recruitment into our NHS, it is no longer necessary-certainly with respect to consultants-to recruit from abroad. However, where people would like to come and contribute to the NHS-and, incidentally, in many cases, to take back skills that they have learned here to their own countries-I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman would not want us to prevent that from happening. The related issue of the concern about security checks on those who come to work in the NHS is, of course, the subject of the review that the Prime Minister has asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Admiral Sir Alan West, to undertake, and we will look carefully at whether there is more we need to do to tighten the security arrangements in those very specific circumstances.