On Monday 23rd October, NHS England has introduced passport checks for all patients accessing most secondary (non-emergency) care. This includes but not limited to maternity/ante-natal care, paediatrics (children) and cancer treatment.
In trials of this policy, the racialised outcomes have been clear. A hospital has apologised for asking pregnant women if they are “economic migrants”. An NHS trust demanded that an 8 day old baby must prove their eligibility for free healthcare. Refugee pregnant women who are entitled to care have been too scared to attend ante-natal appointments, thousands of eligible patients including cancer sufferers have been wrongly denied NHS treatment because of they have been perceived to be “foreign”.
Docs Not Cops is a campaign group of NHS professionals and patients who believe health is a right and not a privilege. This policy is a public health disaster that will add more pressure to A&E as people fearful of discrimination and fees will only turn up to hospital when their illness has been an emergency instead of taking preventative steps to avoid a crisis.
One nurse told the Huffington Post how a woman was treated in an ‘inhumane’ way as a result of these eligibility checks. As NHS staff, we are trained to care all who need it, not turn people away. We are campaigning to restore the values that built our NHS of universal care and compassion.
Join us in reversing this hostile environment policy and removing upfront costs to the NHS. We believe in #patientsnotpassports