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CAMHS won't see you now

I'm a German GP and I'm having to review my circumstances

Dr Roy Melamed 

I’m German and not officially entitled to an opinion about Brexit. It seems to have come to this, thanks to populism, propaganda and lies (…now where have I heard that one before?)

I’ve lived here and worked for the NHS for the last 30 years; I’m bringing up my family here; have a house; pay my income tax, national insurance, council tax and car tax, and have never claimed a single benefit.

And I came here out of choice, not because I had to or because the job is better-paid here (it’s not), or because I didn’t have a job back home (I did).

I dared to consider myself as equal. Actually, I never thought of that fact before June 2016, but in hindsight, I considered myself as equal without ever having to think about it.

Can the country really afford to get rid of doctors? 

This, along with suddenly having to apply to be allowed to stay, almost like having to beg, leaves a bitter taste. It’s humiliating. 

The fact that applying for ‘settled status’ received the answer that the Home Office has no record for me for the last seven years and therefore I can’t even have pre-settled status without submitting more information made me, like so many others in my position, think whether I really needed this. 

So now I’m considering my options.

Doctors are needed, and not only in the NHS. Conditions aren’t going anywhere and the recruitment crisis is swinging from record to record. Can the country really afford to get rid of us? 

What if we ‘Europeans’ decide to actually go where we’re needed, wanted and treated as equals? What if the NHS loses 30% of its workforce? What next?

My English colleague emotionally opposed the treatment I received by the Home Office to his MP, who reached out to mine. Both MPs subsequently got in touch with the Home Office, then Pulse also made an enquiry on my behalf too and it was eventually resolved.

Amid the turmoil, this made me feel valued and incredibly grateful, but others aren’t as lucky to have such brilliant colleagues.

Within all of the populism, nationalism, elitism, and lies being fed, people need to stop for a moment, breathe and start to think. 

Dr Roy Melamed is a GP in Essex

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Readers' comments (27)

  • I am confused. EU nationals have been bombarded with emails and offers to take residency/settled status via a Home Office App which literally takes 10 mins to complete and you get residence within 2-3 weeks although initially they promised to give that to you in 3 days. Why not avail of settled status straightaway if you have been here for 25 years. I don't think it is a good idea to take UK citizenship if your EU country doesn't allow citizenship as you will need a visa to travel home.
    (as with the example of our Dutch colleague)

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  • "I am confused. EU nationals have been bombarded with emails and offers to take residency/settled status via a Home Office App which literally takes 10 mins to complete"

    Assuming you have an Android phone - iPhones seem ubiquitous in this profession! ( No iPhone App!!)

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  • Lol ShefDoc throwing around labels like it was Black Friday!

    What race exactly is "anti-immigrant" sentiment directed towards?

    "Far-right"? How is Brexit far-right? You calling all Leavers far-right?
    Conflating far-right and nationalism?

    Self-harm? Ya sometimes we vote in a 'wrong' govt, doesn't mean we don't respect an election result, do we? PM behaves like a dictator? You don't know dictators do you :) What do you think of the Supreme Court, which has assumed authority over the Queen now, and which has zero accountability? You must be BESIDE yourself with rage :) Shrinking state is GOOD, because it is incompetent.

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  • Thanks for this article Roy. I am a German GP who has lived and worked as a doctor in UK for over 20 year and feel very much the same like you. I never felt it necessary to get the british citizenship while UK was in the EU but I am now considering leaving the country. I find the populism and lies from this unelected Prime Minister and the wide acceptance of him very frightening. I don't want to imagine how it would be when Britain leaves the EU and if he wins the next election.

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  • I think you are very brave publishing what many EU doctors/nurses may be thinking right now.

    The UK is simply a fantastic place to train in the theoretical aspects of medicine and has some of the best research projects out there.

    I am an academic Dutch GP at UCL and exactly where I want to be.

    But the truth is that I am in an ivory tower.

    On a much more practical level, the normal work of GP/GP trainees/nurses is much tougher here than back home where there is much more funding for social care and disease prevention.

    My message to future young EU doctors/nurses would be: contribute to and exchange academic knowledge in the UK for a few years but don't stay too long in NHS as you cannot repair years of mismanagement and poor funding.

    Also ask yourself what will happen when there are enough UK doctors/nurses: will you still be wanted?

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  • Took Early Retirement

    There will never be enough home-trained doctors and nurses. All governments are too mean to pay for what is needed. Cheaper to poach them.

    BTW, I am NOT proud to be British, nor English for that matter. I WOULD say that I am pleased to live here, on balance, and compared to much of the world I feel very lucky to have been born here. I may tread on some toes here, but once you start saying yo are "proud" to be "X" (Insert a nationality of your choice here) it is a very short step to "nationalism", and my reading of history is that nationalism has been at the root cause of most of our wars and conflicts over the last 100+ years at least.
    So I'm pleased to be here, but I'm also an internationalist, who would welcome the mixing of races much more; always providing that it occurs in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance. And that's so often the problem.
    Something I saw on a t-shirt recently was very apposite:- "If your religion tells you to hate people because they are not of your religion then YOU need a new religion".

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  • @ShefDoc if you don't mind me asking, why are you still living and working in UK?

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