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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.

There has been a huge amount of resistance from healthcare workers and patients, with mass demonstrations, the returning of medals, and healthcare organisations holding the government to account.

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.

Check out our list of Upcoming Events. If you’d us to speak at your event or run a workshop where you live, get in touch.

In September 2017 – we made the video below ahead of an action before the regulations were introduced – please watch and share:

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We are not prepared for a pandemic and the Tory Government are to blame

The Covid-19 pandemic has instilled a sense of solidarity within our communities that recognises the need to care for one another during a time of great uncertainty and panic. But as the clocks tick in A&E departments and a sense of
impending doom preoccupies the minds of care workers, we should all reflect upon the circumstances that have led us here. The Prime Minister apparently feels strongly about supporting members of the healthcare workforce, yet we are amidst a staffing crisis .

Scrap the Immigration Health Surcharge – don’t increase it

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday 11th March that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) – paid at point of visa application/renewal would rise from £400/year currently to £624/year
Docs Not Cops has always opposed the IHS, even before the charge was introduced in 2015 (at £200/year). It is a regressive, punitive and racist charge targeted at migrant communities and designed to restrict access both to the NHS and to safe immigration status’.
The extra cost on visas forces working class people to live apart from their families
The Immigration Health Surcharge is a form of double taxation – people living in the UK already pay in to the public pot through income and other forms of taxation
The charge represents a move away from the fundamental principle of the NHS as a universal, rather than contributory, health system – opening the door to an insurance system for all, where access is dependent on ability to pay rather than need
A Tier 2 visa for 5 years, including the new charge, will cost £3,589. For a family of 4 for 3 years, the new Immigration Health Surcharge rate equates to £6,564 on top of visa fees

739 women denied free NHS maternity care in Barts NHS Trust Hospitals

Press statement from Newham Save our NHS, Waltham Forest Save our NHS and Tower Hamlets Keep our NHS Public For immediate release 24th February 2020 For more information please contact: docsnotcops@gmail.com North-east London community campaign groups for the NHS reveal the shocking total of 739 women refused free NHS maternity care, approximately 5% or 1 …