An open letter: Healthcare workers calling for reopening of EOI selections for SMC

An open letter: Healthcare workers calling for reopening of EOI selections for SMC

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Daisy Christie started this petition to Rt Hon Jacinda Adern and

Dear 

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern 

Hon Kris Faafoi


I am writing to you on behalf of migrant Doctors and Nurses in New Zealand and their frustrated colleagues, with regards to Immigration New Zealand's current policy of suspending selection of Expression of Interest (EOI) for Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa.


The current suspension of EOIs has led to immense uncertainty amongst Healthcare workers, and we are concerned that with no clear pathway to residency, many migrant Doctors and Nurses will be forced to leave New Zealand as they see no future prospects here. 


Most Healthcare professionals who have submitted EOIs have been here for several months if not years, and have been working throughout the pandemic, as part of the team of 5 million. Throughout this time, we have been unable to see our families due to concerns we would be unable to return to New Zealand, should we have to leave. A situation that many migrants find themselves in. This is an issue that would be mitigated by being a Resident.


As Non-Residents, we are unable to buy a home, contribute to Kiwi Saver or plan for a family. We are unable to progress with our careers,with many training pathways only open to Permanent Residents or Citizens.

We are aware there are at least 235 doctors and 901 nurses in the EOI pool, both of which New Zealand are desperately short of. We fear that if no changes are made to the EOI closure, then it will be too late for hundreds of healthcare workers and many will have made plans for their departure. We have already seen colleagues of ours leave New Zealand, in part, due to a lack of prospects and certainty. We worry of the negative impact a departure of hundreds of nurses and doctors will have on New Zealand's healthcare system, with fewer staff leading to even further staff shortages, longer wait times, departmental pressures and poorer outcomes for our patients.


We are grateful to be here in New Zealand, and are all eager to stay. However the current suspension of EOIs is causing a huge amount of stress and anxiety, given our lives are currently in limbo. We worry that if the EOI queue does not reopen many of us will have to leave New Zealand. This seems senseless, given that New Zealand has a desperate shortage of Doctors and Nurses, and that we are already here, willing, ready and able to work.


We implore you to consider this and plan for the reopening of EOIs in the near future, or at least grant us with a timeframe that we can plan to. Without this we fear there will be an impending exodus of essential healthcare staff from New Zealand, which inevitably will have a negative impact on the healthcare system.

Kind regards.

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