No one should be afraid to go to the doctor, either because they can’t pay or might be punished. And doctors should not have to police the people they treat.
Since 1948, the NHS has given free health care to UK residents. Its founding principles were healthcare free for all, regardless of ability to pay. This was a universal right, which applied to all who lived in Britain.
Under the Immigration Act 2014, the government is planning to charge certain migrants for GP and emergency treatment. Non-EU migrants and students will be forced to pay before being allowed NHS treatment, and refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants will be excluded from many crucial services.
The NHS begins charging up front for care this April.
The Government claims these new laws will save the UK money, but this is not true. There is little accurate research on health tourism, but what little there is points to health tourism bringing in more money than it costs the NHS. The cost of the new gate-keeping step will be immense.
Charging migrants for healthcare is the first step to normalising charging for everyone. Once the government has a charging system in place, it becomes much easier to gradually expand this to everyone else, regardless of nationality. Racism is being used to undermine our society’s commitment to universal healthcare, and the values of social solidarity which bind our society together.
- We are doctors, nurses, healthcare activists, students, teachers, workers, voters and tax payers.
- We are migrants, British citizens and permanent residents.
- We work in solidarity with Together Against Prevent, a group challenging the government’s Islamophobia in targeting all Muslims as potential terrorists.
We are fighting to protect the NHS, one of the best things about Britain.
- We call upon the Department of Health to undo the Immigration Act.
- They must not put in place new rules which will discriminate against people who need care.
Everyone is invited to join our campaign because these new laws will affect everyone. Join us.