UK plans fast-track visas for migrants working in health service

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would make it easier for migrants to move to the United Kingdom to work in the National Health Service (NHS), helping to offset a possible fall in numbers caused by the exit from the European Union.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel speaks at the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester, Britain October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

The Conservative government is planning to bring in an Australian-style points-based system in 2021 after leaving the EU in a bid to get tighter control of immigration, an issue which commentators said was a major factor in Britons voting for Brexit three years ago.

The future of the NHS is one of the key issues in the campaign for Britain’s general election next month.

About 153,000 of 1.2 million health workers are non-British, and critics have said the end of freedom of movement for EU citizens after Brexit would deprive the NHS, one of the world’s largest employers, of a vital pool of workers.

At the same time, it was feared that many medical staff who come from other areas of t


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