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Give NHS workers on coronavirus front line citizenship, MP says

20 Apr 2020 3 minutes Read
Image by 272447 from Pixabay

An MP has called for all non-British people working on the frontline of the Coronavirus crisis in the NHS to be granted citizenship if they want it.

Arfon’s Hywel Williams has written to the UK Government’s Home Secretary with the request. Around 25% of UK hospital staff were born overseas figures according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Plaid Cymru MP said that the British Government previously granted the Gurkhas British citizenship for their contribution to defending the UK.

“Many key workers are facing unprecedented difficulties, from the lack of personal protective equipment to the drastic surge in patient numbers,” Hywel Williams says in the letter.

“Sadly, the fast spread of the virus has tragically already claimed the lives of many healthcare workers.

“Despite their valiant efforts, many key workers who do not hold British citizenship, from doctors to hospital cleaners and from nursing home aides to paramedics, are still living in perpetual uncertainty about whether they can stay in the UK permanently. To add insult to injury, they also face exorbitant application fees.

“This pandemic has shown that immigrants are a vital part of our society and our economy. It is therefore crucial that the UK Government recognises the scale of sacrifice and commitment that key workers are making.

“The UK Government granted the Gurkhas British citizenship rights for their great skill, courage and dignity during some of the most difficult times in history.

“The coronavirus pandemic is no different. I hope that you will consider this request carefully and give immediate, free citizenship to all key workers who have applied, thereby granting them the honour and recognition they deserve.”

 

‘Certain death’

The call comes as the Welsh Government have been ured to review the disproportionate impact Coronavirus seems to be having on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people.

The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) said Wales should take steps “very quickly” after the UK Government set up a similar review.

Data from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) has suggested that 34% of critically ill coronavirus patients are from BAME backgrounds.

Prof Keshav Singhal, chairman of BAPIO Wales, said authorities needed to find out why these communities may be disproportionately affected.

“The end point is to mitigate this worrying trend,” he told BBC Wales.

“We know that certain risks are very high. So, a male, middle-aged BAME with concurrent diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, is absolutely high risk – putting them on the front line is almost condemning them to a certain death.”

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Robin Lynn
Robin Lynn
1 year ago

Nice one Hywel!

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 year ago
Reply to  Robin Lynn

Multiple thumbs up on that one. While they are at it the UK Government should also be more open, honest and accommodating in how they deal with likes of Fijians who have served the Brit armed forces. Settling in UK after completing service currently comes at one big cost and is by no means guaranteed. If it’s a matter of numbers they could sling out some of the well-connected spivs and crooks that seem to take up a lot of space in London to make room for the more deserving cases.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 year ago

A middle aged male BAME with concurrent diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, is very high risk and “on the front line”! ?

Simon Gruffydd
1 year ago

Given the proliferation of videos on social media showing doctors and nurses dancing to tacky music scores, one wonders if they are simply bored. I have been getting numerous reports from ‘the front lines’ (doctors and nurses) that beds reserved for the ‘pandemic’ are largely empty. Meanwhile people who need treatment for serious illnesses are being refused and dying prematurely as a result. The last report from the Nightingale emergency hospital with a capacity of 3,650 beds set up to deal with the masses of sick and dying as a result of Covid-19, were treating a total of 19 patents.… Read more »

GARETH WESTACOTT
GARETH WESTACOTT
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Gruffydd

Well said!

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Gruffydd

Somebody, paid a lot of money to think things through, should have made the connection, joined a few dots, or read the runes even. If you impose a largely effective lockdown the likely immediate outcome is fewer cases than expected. Accordingly these emergency overspill units that have been commissioned up and down the UK are underoccupied. However the big bang, a second surge, might just happen when lockdown is relaxed and a whole host of nutters start to enjoy their liberty by invading that of others. That might be the chain reaction that fills the Nightingale and the other locations.… Read more »

Michael McGrane
Michael McGrane
1 year ago
Reply to  Huw Davies

Very well put. The precautions are working and if “We the People” think otherwise I’d like to know what qualifies them to speak on medical matters. I also wonder who are the people they speak for.

Simon Gruffydd
1 year ago

The fact that no-lockdown Sweden is faring no worse (possibly better) than most lockdown countries, including the UK, speaks for itself. But don’t take my word for it. See what preeminent experts in the field of disease control and pandemics have to say: https://wethepeople.wales/30-medical-experts-question-governments-response-to-covid-19/

Michael McGrane
Michael McGrane
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Gruffydd

Still doesn’t tell me who “Wethepeople.Wales” are and why you are using a Welsh motto with not a single other word of Welsh. Are you afraid to let Wales know who you are? You are claiming to speak for us.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Gruffydd

Relaxed Sweden Pop: 8.4M Cases: 14,777 Deaths: 1,580
Tight Austria Pop: 8.4M Cases: 14,795 Deaths: 470.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 year ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Total tests Germany: 1,728,357 Deaths: 4,639
Total tests U K : 501,379 Deaths: 16,509

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