MAC recommends all doctors are added to shortage occupation list

Doctor with stethoscope

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that all medical practitioners are now added to the shortage occupation list.

It has also made a number of other suggestions to government:

  • nurses should remain on the list, having been removed from the Tier 2 cap in 2018
  • occupational therapists, psychologists, radiographers and speech and language therapists should be added
  • paramedics should remain on the list
  • all social workers should be added to the list.

The government will decide on these recommendations at a later date. In the meantime, however, the current shortage occupation list will apply.

Employers should be aware that the MAC recommends a resident labour market test (RLMT) is still conducted for nurses, but for other professions on the list they may issue a Tier 2 certificate of sponsorship without demonstrating that a RLMT has been carried out.

Context of the report

The MAC was asked by the government to undertake a full review of the shortage occupation list in June 2018. NHS Employers contributed to this discussion, submitting evidence in January 2019. Our evidence highlighted that despite measures to improve education and training domestically, the reliance the sector has on the recruitment of professionals from overseas means that the shortage occupation list must continue to support the NHS in hiring the staff it needs.

Please note that the MAC recommendations are separate to the work the Home Office is conducting on the future immigration system.

You can find further details about the shortage occupation list on our website, and the full MAC report is available on



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