Access to healthcare should be a right, not a fight

Access to healthcare should be a right, not a fight


Written by: Kevin Smith

The government is currently considering charging failed asylum seekers and undocumented migrants for NHS primary health care.

A number of civil society organisations are concerned that such charges could prevent vulnerable people, including pregnant women and children, from accessing vital treatment.

A briefing paper explaining the proposed changes and their potential impact can be downloaded from the Medact website here.

There are a number of ways in which you can voice your opposition to these plans:

  • Print out the attached statement by Medact, the National Aids Trust and Médicins Du Monde. Sign it and send it to Medecins du Monde UK,14 Heron Quays, London, E14 4JB. Or sign the statement online here;
  • You can send an email to the Secretary of State for Health expressing your concern over the matter. You can do this online here;
  • If you are a health professional, you could contact your professional organisation and ask it to speak on this issue;
  • You could discuss the matter with colleagues who may not be aware of the review and its possible implications.

Jerome Pfaffmann of Médecins du Monde told IRR News: ‘If these proposals are accepted and enforced, the health of undocumented migrants will suffer unnecessarily. Prevention and early treatment will be impossible and we will see, instead, an increased burden on the emergency services which hurts everyone. We remain firm in our belief that access to healthcare should be a right, not a fight.’

Related links

Download the petition and information (pdf file, 22kb)

To visit the Medact website, click here.

To visit the National Aids Trust website, click here.

To visit the Médicins Du Monde UK website, click here.

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

One thought on “Access to healthcare should be a right, not a fight

  1. I am not an asylum seeker. If the report is true then whatever argument the government uses to justify this could be applied to anyone.

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