Nursing Union Wants UK Govt to Scrap Health Fee for Non-EU Workers

first_imgThe Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the world’s largest nursing union and professional body, has urged the United Kingdom government to do away with immigration health surcharge paid by nurses coming to the country from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).Non-European Union nurses and their family members should be made exempt from the surcharge, RCN chief executive Janet Davies said during the organization’s annual conference held in Belfast on May 13. Davies also warned leaders against extending the fee to EU migrants after Brexit.“When facing staff shortages in National Health Service and care, the UK has depended on professionals from around the world,” Davies said, according to ITV. “We are proud as a profession to have the best and brightest from over 200 countries around the world. But the government now seems hell-bent on showing, through its handling of Brexit and the treatment of people from the wider world, that they’re no longer welcome,” she added.The immigration health surcharge has to be paid by everyone outside the EEA seeking to live in the United Kingdom for six months or more to work, study, or join family. Since 2015, migrants have to pay £200 fee per family member for every year on their work permit.In February 2018, it was announced that the surcharge would be doubled to £400 later this year. Students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will also have to pay £300 per year instead of the earlier fee of £150 per year.It is expected that nurses from the EEA will also have to pay the fee after Brexit.“Data from NHS Improvement covering the last three months of 2017 show that the NHS in England had 100,000 vacant positions, of which 35,000 were nursing posts,” according to RCN. The organization also said that more nurses are leaving than joining the NHS. The number of EU nurses joining the register has fallen by 96 per cent since the Brexit referendum.“The care we’re able to provide is totally compromised by short staffing. The current shortages are not only dangerous but a vicious circle too,” Davies said during the conference.At the event, Kenyan nurse Evaline Omondi, who works in Luton, Bedfordshire, recounted how she was asked to pay £3,600 upfront to cover three years of fees for two adults and her four children. She was forced to send her youngest children, aged 6 and 8 years, back to Kenya since she couldn’t afford the fee.She said that the surcharge has scattered her family.The NHS is a publicly-funded national healthcare system for England and one of the four National Health Services for each constituent country of the United Kingdom. It is currently facing acute staff shortage, including hundreds of doctors and nurses. Indian nurses have been a part of the first pilot of the “earn, learn and return” program, and the NHS said in January that 600 nurses – from the Philippines and India – would be hired to meet a critical shortage in Northern Ireland. Related ItemsNHSNursesUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

Remotecontrolled Spy Tuna records rarely seen massive dolphin orgies off Osa Peninsula

first_imgThis fish could not be the one that got away.When the giant yellowfin tuna began to plunge deep into the big blue, I swam hard after her. She wasn’t just any tuna, she was our Spy Tuna, armed with a high-definition camera in her eyes and mouth. I didn’t know exactly how many tens of thousand of dollars the one-of-a-kind tuna was worth, but I knew the bottom was around a kilometer below.The engineering marvel known as Spy Tuna was helping us film spinner dolphin superpods off the Osa Peninsula. She was one of the stars of John Downer Productions’ “Dolphins – Spy In The Pod,” out last week on BBC1, and the show would really suffer without her.She had filmed some of the most amazing dolphin discoveries ever seen, and she looked good doing it. Those who operated her used virtual goggles and a remote control. The cameras in her eyes and mouth captured the largest gatherings of dolphins ever filmed on earth, around 20 to 30 miles off of Drake Bay, on the southern Pacific coast.The painted spy flashed her yellow and blue colors, all the while filming the voice bubbles of dolphins conversing and filling the sea like shining stars. Spy Tuna witnessed superpods of thousands of dolphins merging into megapods for massive orgies. She recorded the spectacle as dolphins corralled house-sized bait clusters of fish, then hundreds of giant rays showed up, soaring through and devouring at high speed. The rays left behind many stunned and dead fresh fish, which the dolphins snapped up.A good thing to be with dolphins is “poopular.” In other words, dolphins like to poop on their friends. The spinners gathered directly upstream of Spy Tuna and again and again sent their streaks of hormones all over her. She was very poopular, and that was why she got to see it all.We now know what it looks like when dolphins surf a beach break wave from underwater. We learned that dolphins get high by passing around a potent puffer fish for a quick chew. We’ve seen a baby spinner dolphin learn her spin, and a baby bottlenose learn to hunt, and so much more. The show is sure to inspire a tsunami of awareness about dolphin awesomeness, while showing the world the future of high-tech ocean exploration. I hope it makes Costa Ricans think about how the world’s most famous wildlife documentary broadcasting corporation, with plenty of funding, chooses to come to the Osa Peninsula for dolphin filming.With so many dolphins to snoop on, it should come as no surprise that Spy Tuna isn’t the only undersea infiltrator. The whiz kids at John Downer crafted Spy Turtle, Spy Nautilus Seashell, Spy Dolphin, Spy Ray and Spy Squid. They did not only film in Costa Rica, but dispersed their infiltrators to some of the world’s choicest dolphin locations, like Madagascar and Honduras and the Florida Keys. The images they’ve captured tell a story we’ve never seen and show us things we never knew.That isn’t to say that Spy Tuna is easy to replace. So when she diverted herself for the ocean floor, I powered after her, keeping the glint of her painted exterior in my sight. When she started to slow down, I was able to catch up, grab her and drag her back to the boat.When we surfaced together, the looks on the faces of the crew mirrored the relief I felt. The engineering marvel know as Spy Tuna could now keep helping us film the super- and megapods of the offshore Osa peninsula. We really need her. Facebook Comments Related posts:Flying over the Osa Peninsula It’s dolphin and whale season in southern Costa Rica One of Sea Shepherd’s missions in Costa Rica: Protecting whales New government lionfish commission to take on invasive specieslast_img read more