Twitter Storm: Protest the government’s immigration checks in the health service, they are endangering people’s lives!

This April the changes documented in the Government’s ‘Making a fair contribution’ proposal will come into force.

They are the latest round of measures introduced into the NHS to extend UK borders inland, and ask doctors, nurses, and allied healthcare professionals to question their patients’ immigration statuses.

 

As of April:

  • NHS trusts will be legally obliged to check people’s passports and eligibility before they receive care not deemed ‘immediately necessary’.
  • People will be charged up front and care not paid for will be denied or withdrawn.
  • GP Surgeries will be responsible for identifying people not eligible for free secondary care.
  • Non-NHS NHS-funded services in the community will identify
    non-eligible patients and be chargeable. This includes mental health services, hospices, and termination of pregnancy services.

 

These measures will make people afraid of accessing the care they need.

 

They are based on racist ideology, not evidence. They will lead to racial profiling and discrimination within the NHS. They are violent.

These changes will build upon the already harmful effects of the government’s Immigration Act 2014, which has seen hundreds of migrant women made terrified of accessing antenatal care and threatened by the very hospitals they need to help them.

 


No racism in the NHS! 

Keep immigration checks out of the NHS!


 

Join us on Wednesday 5th April in creating a Twitter and email storm between 10am-12pm (but please start earlier and continue after should you wish!). We’re asking people to tweet the Department of Health (@DHgovuk), NHS England (@NHSEngland), and the Health Minister Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) using the hashtags #PatientsNotPassports and #DocsNotCops. We’ve included some sample tweets below which we welcome you to customise as you see fit:

Sample tweet 1:

Sample tweet reading: 'Midwives for maternity care, take your racism elsewhere!'

Sample tweet 2

Sample tweet reading: "Doctors check blood pressure not immigration status. No borders in our NHS! #DocsNotCops #PatientsNotPassports @DHgovuk"

Sample tweet 3

Sample tweet text that reads: " Why would you deny sick patients the care they need? No passport checks in our NHS! #DocsNotCops #PatientsNotPassports @DHgovuk @NHSEngland"

Sample tweet 4:

Sample tweet that reads: " Universal healthcare is a right, here to stay, here to fight! We treat everyone. #DocsNotCops #PatientsNotPassports @DHgovuk @NHSEngland"

We know that some trusts such as St George’s NHS Trust (@StGeorgesTrust) have piloted these schemes and Barking, Havering, and Redbridge Unversity Hospitals NHS Trust (@BHR_hospitals) have sent threatening letters to women unable to pay for their maternity care, we welcome you to ask them why they are complicit in these racist acts of violence.

 

We’ve made some graphics to help the storm get more attention. We welcome you to share or post any of the images below on your social media page (click to enlarge and save):

Drawing of a heart with the slogan 'patients not passports'

Drawing of a pregnant person whose hands are tied with rope, with the slogan: "No borders in Maternity care, take your racism elsewhere!"

Drawing of a stethoscope that ends in a snake's head with the slogan 'Hospitals are for healthcare"


Please help us to highlight the insidious introduction of immigration checks to the health service. These measures are racist, these measures are violent, these measures will cost people their lives.

 

Can you help?

If you are an NHS worker, patient, or anybody else who believes passionately that the care you receive should not be dictated by your place of birth or immigration status follow us on twitter @DocsNotCops, or contact us via email: docsnotcops@gmail.com

 

Please join our twitter storm and hold the government to account, we are Docs not Cops!

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