This week’s blog is expertly written by someone we support at GMIAU. For more information about the #LiftTheBan campaign, and the campaign’s newly released report, go to https://www.refugee-action.org.uk/
I want to speak with you.
But I can’t tell you my name.
I live in Greater Manchester.
I’m a mum.
I’m a doctor.
I’m seeking asylum.
The government is still making a decision on my asylum application which is why, to protect me and my children, I’m writing this anonymously. And here’s what I want to tell you – I’m a doctor who, in the middle of a global health pandemic, cannot work.
Let me tell you about my life as a doctor in the country I am from.
Both myself and my husband have over 15 years experience as doctors. We both speak three languages.He is a consultant cardiologist. I am a radiologist specialised in abdomen/pelvis and obstetrics & gynaecology sonography. I have taught at medical school, examined medical students, ran my own clinics, worked in A&E departments…. But government rules mean there is a ban on people seeking asylum being able to work. It applies to everyone – doctors, bus drivers, cleaners, shop workers, teachers. Until the government has taken longer than 12 months to make a decision on your asylum application it is illegal to work. And then? Only people on a list of shortage occupations can apply for jobs.
The ban makes no sense. Life combating COVID-19 needs to be a life that looks after everyone and let’s us all participate according to our gifts and talents. If the government lets me, I am willing and able to make a valuable contribution and help with the pandemic. I’m willing to work as a doctor anywhere the NHS has need, even while I’m preparing for the exams needed to register with the General Medical Council.
Will you raise your voice to change the rules that stop people, like me, being able to work? Please sign the petition to #LiftTheBan