Confusion over the rules on NHS care for failed asylum seekers means people are being turned away from hospitals and GP practices, a report says.Trusts are currently told to decide if people should be treated on a case by case basis.
But an online article for the British Medical Journal reports trusts are making “appalling” decisions and denying people free care. The Department of Health says the situation is under review.
I would venture to suggest that the ‘review’ is one of those very long ongoing processes that is to allow the government not explicitly to say to the NHS- Do not treat failed asylum seekers (which = negating the Hippocratic oath and well, kill people) and to ‘let the trust decide’ is again a way of having responsibility displaced when people are killed by withholding of treatment. We already have deported a cancer patient who subsequently died-
Ama Sumani suffered from malignant myeloma and was receiving kidney dialysis at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, but was deported after her UK visa expired.
Her removal from hospital by immigration officials in January was described as “atrocious barbarism” by the leading medical journal the Lancet.
A pending appeal reveals their real disposition towards basic humanitarianism-
In April, a High Court judge ruled in the case of a Palestinian who claimed denying care for his chronic liver disease breached his human rights, saying banning failed asylum seekers from receiving free NHS treatment was unlawful. However, the Department of Health was given permission to appeal, and the case is due to be heard in November.
So whatever their current fudge we can deduce they are moving towards denying treatment to those people deemed ‘illegal’ as if killing someone classed in such a way is acceptable, they are…untermensch. The BMJ article (behind a paywall dammit -work arounds or emailed texts gratefully received- extract here) quoted by the BBC has some specific instances and it is hard not to conclude the personal prejudices and incipient officious cruelty of gatekeepers to treatment played into the decisions-
Adam Hundt, the lawyer who represented the Palestinian man, said he had been contacted by many doctors who were confused about what they should do. He told the BMJ: “They are telling me they’d been led to believe they didn’t have any choice about who they can treat.
“Some managers are interpreting the rules too restrictively and are saying unless someone is at death’s door you shouldn’t treat them unless they pay. This is wrong.”
He said he has learnt of some “appalling decisions”, such as expectant mothers being wrongly told they would not be cared for if they turned up to hospital in labour.
He added: “Three of my clients – including a child – have died after treatment was refused.” Mr Hundt said he was not directly linking the deaths with the decisions, but added: “We’ll never know whether they would have died anyway or not, but they weren’t given the chance to survive.”
The student group Medsin are pursuing with FOIA requests a government consultation that was dropped in 2004-
The government began a consultation in 2004 on whether failed asylum seekers should be eligible for free GP care, but never published its responses. Now Medsin, a student health group, has used the Freedom of Information Act to track down half of those who provided submissions, and found three quarters of healthcare providers were concerned denying care would put them in breach of their professional responsibilities.
So again they are basically using consultations and reviews to duck the issue -for years- and in the vacuum give a nod and wink to management of hard pressed trusts to take the decisions knowing full well the financial pressures the government impose on those hospitals.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said a review was under way, but there was no date set for publication.
And just to remind you the chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency is Lin Homer a NuLabour apparatchik who was involved in overseeing voting ‘discrepancies’ in Birmingham. Seems fraud was a gateway drug to widespread mistreatment of human beings and best of all she loves privatisation!- Outsourcing Abuse: the use and misuse of state-sanctioned force during the detention and removal of asylum seekers (pdf).
Take some action:-
Amnesty International UK on Asylum the National Coalition Of Anti-Deportation Campaigns