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UK govt urged to scrap health surcharge for foreign nurses

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Britain's (RCN) has launched a campaign to urge the to drop a surcharge for overseas nurses, including from India, employed by the country's state-funded National Service (NHS).

Nurses from countries outside the (EU) are expected to pay 200 pounds (USD 271) overseas surcharge, which is paid per family member for every year once the enters the country on a work permit.

The RCN has observed that the charge is "too steep" for a nurse's average annual salary of around 27,800 pounds and results in tearing families apart in some cases as many are unable to bring them into the UK due to the high costs involved.

"We are proud as a profession to have the best and brightest from over 200 countries around the world," said RCN

"But the government now seems hell-bent on showing that they're no longer welcome," she said, adding that it was "shameful that families are being torn apart by this policy".

Under the system introduced in 2015, non-citizens in the UK must pay 200 pounds per family member for every year on the main sponsors' work permit.

The surcharge is due to increase to 400 pounds later this year and there have been suggestions that after Brexit it will be applied to EU nationals too.

Some overseas nurses have reportedly received requests for more than 3,000 pounds upfront to cover their families' potential use of the NHS, the RCN warns.

The said the surcharge had an important role to play, generating income that goes directly to the NHS.

"The government fully recognises the contribution that international professionals make to the UK and to our health service," a said.

is among the leading source countries for the UK to fill staff shortages in the NHS, besides the and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 12 2018. 17:51 IST