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UK to Deny Health Care to Foreign Nationals?
Posted Sunday, December 02, 2007
View All Blog Posts submitted by Creative
AOL News today reports that the UK government is reviewing its rules regarding access to free health care (NHS) for foreign nations.
See News item HERE. It says:
Critics have warned the move could increase community tensions by placing even greater pressure on accident and emergency departments.
Currently everyone in the UK qualifies for free primary health care services - such as access to GPs."
Critics of the review also say:
"The Government is in danger of normalizing what many people will see as a breach of human rights - someone's right to basic health care provision. The Government is saying people who aren't entitled to healthcare should pay for it but asylum seekers are the very people who can't afford to pay for these services."
I worked in the NHS and there is a strain on services but as I understand it, visitors to the country are not entitled to access GP primary care but can be treated in Accident and Emergency etc. Meanwhile those resident here ie. asylum seekers etc. are entitled to Primary Care treatment.
On the basis that we have nothing to offer asylum seekers as an alternative to primary health care I am strongly against any proposal to prevent them accessing full NHS services while they are resident in the UK.
Details of my objections follow:
In the UK you cannot buy basic things like antibiotics over the counter and can only get them on prescription. It is therefore essential that those who need treatment can access it via the NHS as there is simply no other way to access it.
Not all Gp's do private consultations and if they do it may cost anything from £25 ($50) which many asylum seekers can ill afford. If they could however pay these charges, then GP's workload would increase as they are not allowed to see private patients in contracted NHS time. GP's would NOT work longer hours, so we run the risk of them reducing their NHS comittment in order to see more private patients which would then reduce our overall level of NHS primary care. This has already happened in the hospital sector with long waiting lists for NHS patients whereas you can see the same consultant in days/weeks if you pay privately.
How will these proposals affect children of asylum seekers? Will they be denied access to antibiotics and basic health care too? A GP visit may reveal meningitis but without it the child will die if assumed by the parents it is a common cold and not worth a private fee which is too costly. But had the charge not been present they may have taken the child for a check up just in case.
It could also increase the spread of disease and increase in things which have been almost eradicated from this country if the asylum seekers are not properly vaccinated and treated for contagious diseases.
The government has already taken away free sight tests and free dental services to all, this step may start with asylum seekers but if we're not careful it will be extended to the rest of us too.
They have been talking for years about making all of us pay for GP visits see HERE for details.
This article was written in 1997!
"A fundamental review of NHS spending over the next four years, announced last week, has produced a flurry of speculation about patients being charged for treatment or home visits by family doctors. "
UK Nationals may argue they pay for their health care via their National Insurance contributions so health care is not free to them either but what of the huge population of unemployed, criminals, inmates, students, incapacitated, mothers, etc. who do not work either and possibly never will - should they also be denied free health care?
The problem is with our asylum system, and it's not so easy for some Asylum seekers to 'go home' as some Brits demand. Especially if they don't have a home to go to. If their country of birth refused them citizenship (as their parents were not pure nationals) they need to apply for visas and if the country won't provide them they have to leave and thus there will be problems when the UK insist they return.
Where will the line be drawn if the government starts withdrawing services for those who can't access them any other way?
This Blog Post has been read 385 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Sunday, December 02, 2007
View other posts by Creative
Comments on this blog post:
Comment by Danny Davids(13,494) (182 days 11 hours ago.)
Gee, CF, can you send those lawmakers to the US? We could certainly use somebody like them with the ba...er, uh...I mean, the fortitude to make it clear that if you don't contribute to the system, you don't benefit from it either!
Comment by Creative(54,965) (182 days 6 hours ago.)
Very funny David, you already have them in the US, since when did you have an NHS equivalent? I don't really the Uk going that way, thank you.
N'Drew from Luxembourg: (181 days 16 hours ago.)
Hmm! A lot of problems could be easily resolved!
But Sharing isn't a political issue, is it?
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