The NHS was designed to be a universal health service, free for all that need it. This is no longer the case.
As part of its Hostile Environment immigration policies, the Government has been restricting access to care for some people. This drastic shift away from the founding principles of the NHS is having a devastating impact on patients who are unable to pay. The policy is changing the culture in our health service, making charging for treatment acceptable and opening the door to a system where access to care is dependent on ability to pay.
Sign our joint letter with Medact and Migrants Organise calling on the Department of Health and Social Care to commit to maintaining a truly universal NHS, available to all that need it and to:
– Stop charging for NHS care and repeal the 2015 and 2017 NHS Charging Regulations
– Stop sharing patient data with the Home Office and ensure clear separation between NHS Data and Immigration Enforcement
– Commission a full and independent inquiry into the impact of NHS charging on individual and public health, and provide compensation to the families and communities already impacted.
Sign the letter at: act.patientsnotpassports.co.uk
We’ve seen untold harm caused to people trying to access the care they need since. From the Windrush scandal and Sylvester Marshal being billed £54,000 for cancer care, to Trusts sending debt collectors to harass destitute mothers – and, as we predicted, people are being deterred from seeking care.
To learn more about immigration checks and charges in the NHS, how you can take action as a healthcare worker, support people in your community, or start a campaign where you are, check out the Toolkit we have created with Medact and Migrants Organise at: patientsnotpassports.co.uk.
Join us in reversing this hostile environment policy and removing upfront costs to the NHS. We believe in #PatientsNotPassports.
In September 2017 – we made the video below ahead of an action before the regulations were introduced – please watch and share: