Debate on the skills of asylum seekers

We asked whether the skills of asylum seekers are

A recent Community Care article on the plight of asylum seekers who
are doctors

These are the comments we received:

I read with great interest your article in
Community Care journal.  I agree with everything that was
highlighted in the article. My only comments are that perhaps once
they have qualified and seek work that they should adopt the
western style of dressing. My 91-year-old mother has recently been
in hospital. Being in a different environment, with a short term
memory, is bad enough, but when a Dr arrives at the bedside dressed
almost like the picture of Faduma Hussein’s dress it confuses the
older person totally.
When in Rome etc.
There is also the question of health and
Jane Leason
Care Services Manager

As an 80-year-old pensioner who has every
intention of living as long as possible it is a cause for concern
that there are so many of us oldies and so few youngsters to keep
the economy ticking over in our ever-lengthening old age.   We
should welcome with open arms anyone who will brave the climate,
both physical and social, that would discourage those with any wide
range of choice. We should smooth their path, help them to learn
English and preserve or improve their skills, and include them in
the benefits of job-creation that will enrich our country. Infact,
we shoud make provision for them as we are or should be doing for
our own population. In short, asylum seekers and their actual, let
alone their potential skills, are seriously

Gladys Glascoe

I read your article in Community Care
concerning refugee doctors and the plight they are experiencing
having come to this country. They are fortunate that their problem
is being highlighted in the media. My experience coming to this
country in a different status as a doctor reflects a different
story with as much frustration and nonsensical bureaucracy as that
in your article.

I am a qualified doctor. I graduated at the Pavlov University,
St Petersburg, Russia in 1983. My qualification is recognised by
the World Health Organisation. I am 43, and in the 19 years I have
been a doctor, I have undertaken research and my findings were
published internationally. I have taught young doctors in a
postgraduate setting. I became a consultant doctor in my field for
the north and west areas of Russia. I have conducted hospital
departments and managed doctors.

I married an English subject, who was a civil servant, in August
2002, gave up my job and I moved to this country with the intention
to settle, in May 2003. I am therefore an immigrant and wanted to
continue my career as a doctor.

The Home Office provided me with literature that indicated that
as a doctor I would be more than welcome in the UK. It cost my
partner over £3,000 to pay for the bureaucracy to get me
here.  As a person married to an English person, who I love so
dearly, I thought that my life would become that about which I have
dreamed. This has not materialised.

As an immigrant in the UK under a legal status I am denied any
recourse to public funds and am reliant upon my partner’s salary.
My partner and I have no problem with this, but the outcome of this
policy has profound effects.

My partner’s salary is not sufficient to support myself together
with my two daughters aged 7 and 9. As a result I have had to leave
them with my extended family in Russia and my partner provides them
finance. In the meantime I have endeavoured to gain employment
within the NHS. This is almost impossible and is similar to the
issues you have described in your article. The system is totally

The UK government purport to assist doctors from other countries
to come to the country. The assistance is as elusive as the excuses
for promises made. Since living in the UK I am becoming unskilled
and disillusioned. To help support my daughters and save to pay for
the English examinations I need to undertake, I am working as a
cleaner in a local hotel, I do not feel belittled by the
experience, but by the promises made me from the UK government.

I have had to take this employment because clinical attachments
do not exist and the NHS are not interested. As an immigrant I have
become aware that the NHS is managed by overpaid managers with no
concepts of social welfare or health. The NHS system is an
overstated illusion that is generated to elicit a further tax from
the people to cover up the government’s

Vera Bush

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