Surrey

Surrey doctor Shashi Awai faces deportation after 16 years

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Media captionDr Shashi Awai is facing deportation to Nepal

A doctor who has worked in the UK for 16 years is facing deportation after her application to stay was refused following her marriage breakup.

Dr Shashi Awai, from Nepal, has not been able to work at East Surrey Hospital's Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) department for 18 months while her application is processed.

More than 2,500 people have signed a petition for her to be allowed to stay.

The Home Office said it was reviewing the case.

'Position vacant'

Dr Awai, who is seeking indefinite leave to remain, said: "I have worked very hard and long to establish myself as a doctor.

"I know the system here, I have connected with the people, the British people, the hospitals, the NHS."

Adding that she loved her job, she said: "The hospital was like a second home to me."

Image caption Dr Awai said the hospital was like her "second home"

The Doctors' Association UK has said there are currently more than 10,000 posts for doctors in the NHS that are proving "almost impossible" to fill.

In April, the hospital's ENT lead clinician Karan Kapoor wrote to Reigate MP Crispin Blunt and said: "To date we have not been able to successfully fill the position left vacant by her departure on a long-term basis.

"Doctors with a similar level of experience and ability are challenging to find."

Jon Pepper, from Reigate Labour Constituency Party, said: "To see a doctor unable to work, sitting at home, waiting on an immigration case, while the hospital haven't been able to fill her position, is just absurd."

Chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (Sash) Michael Wilson said he could not comment on an individual case, but said: "We have highly skilled and specialist individuals and teams at Sash who provide high quality care."

A Home Office spokesman said: "All visa applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules.

"The Home Office is reviewing the case and have contacted Dr Awai to update her."

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