Access To Primary Healthcare For Asylum Seekers

Access to healthcare for refused asylum seekers
The Government is currently considering charging refused asylum seekers and undocumented migrants for NHS primary health care, effectively denying thousands of vulnerable migrants access to healthcare entirely. And a campaign is developing to oppose these changes.

The government’s aim is to reduce the abuse of the NHS by “health tourists” and to harmonise the UKs approach to this group (refused asylum seekers and undocumented migrants have been denied access to secondary healthcare since 2004). However, there is no evidence to support the suggestion that people come to the UK with the sole purpose of accessing free NHS treatment.

Doctors, refugee and healthcare groups are concerned such charges could prevent vulnerable people, including pregnant women and children, from accessing treatment. These policies would place health professionals in the position of contravening professional codes of conduct – to offer care without discrimination.

The health service charity, Medact, along with a number of other organisations including MedSin (the student branch of Medact), Terrence Higgins Trust, The Refugee Council, Medicines Sans Frontieres and Medicines du Monde are currently supporters of the campaign.

To find out more aboutt this camapign go to:

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