COMMENT: Why does NHS continue to ignore refugee health professionals in UK?

As refugees flee Afghanistan in unprecedented numbers, HSJ this week carries a timely reminder that there are thousands of refugee and asylum-seeker health professionals living in the UK (news focus, pages 12-13; feature, page 24).

The British Medical Association is again warning of the recruitment crisis facing the medical profession, but there are large numbers of qualified doctors living in poverty in the very areas in which their skills are most needed.

It is a sad reflection on the bureaucracy that still stifles well-intentioned government initiatives that so many refugees have not found work within the health service. More should be done urgently to speed up the registration process for refugee doctors and nurses, and to ensure that they get the support they need to find employment - not just for the sake of the NHS but for the sake of the individuals themselves and their communities. l