Japa:UK Bans Health Workers, Others From Bringing Family Members


LAGOS MARCH 12TH (NEWSRANGERS)-The hope to migrate by health and care workers with their dependents from Nigeria and other countries to the United Kingdom have been dashed with the ban to that effect on Monday.

The ban by the UK Government is coming over two months after similar stoppage of dependents migrating to the UK with principal applicants through the study visa.

In another decisive step, the UK Government on Monday announced that effective from today, March 11, 2024, while not stopping foreign heath and care workers from coming to the country, they are no longer permitted to come with their family members.

 “From today, care workers entering the UK on Health and Care Worker visas can no longer bring dependents.

“This is part of our plan to deliver the biggest ever cut in migration.”

The UK Government had taken to its official UK Home Office verified X handle, formerly Twitter to make the announcement.

The ban is coming in amid growing concerns in Nigeria about the brain drain and shortfall of skilled professionals in the health sector, considering the exit in excess of 16,000 medical doctors in just five years.

Quoting available records from the British Government, the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) said health workers migration to the UK rose by 215 per cent between 2022 and the end of 2023.

In a space of one year, Nigeria health and care workers toped the list of Africans granted visas by the United Kingdom in one year with 26,715 in 2023 against 8,491 a year earlier in 2022 leaving an alarming 18,224 increment in just a year.

The United Kingdom had based the decision on a measure to curb the inflow of estimated 120,000 dependents accompanying heath and care workers to the country in the year ending September 2023.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Sunday, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Ali Pate, had lamented that Nigeria lost over 16,000 doctors to the ‘Japa Syndrome’ in five years.

“There are about 300,000 health professionals working in Nigeria today in all cadres. I am talking about doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, and others. We did an assessment and discovered we have 85,000 to 90,000 registered Nigerian doctors.

“Not all of them are in the country. Some are in the diaspora, especially in the US and UK. But there are 55,000 licenced doctors in the country,” the minister had lamented.

With over 200 million population, there are indeed growing fears that except drastic actions were put in place to motivate health workers to stay back in the country, Nigerians stand a huge risk of lacking skilled professionals to handle their medical needs in the nearest future.

The UK, US, Canada and Australia have become preferred destinations for Nigerians exploring available routes to leave the country in search of the ‘greener pasture,’ particularly among skilled workers cutting across key sectors like health, IT, education, arts and many others.

The health and care visa, just like the educational routes have become the escape routes for Nigerians, and other nationals seeking to leave their countries due to the opportunity they offered in relocating to their choice countries with their family members.

While cutting down the influx of migrants into the UK, the ban on dependents may discourage health workers and care professionals from embarking on foreign relocation or divert their attention to another countries where borders are still open to their children and spouses.


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Posted by on Mar 12 2024. Filed under International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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