Research shows that in the UK most women access their contraception from their GP. But for some women, seeing a GP for advice on contraception or other reproductive health needs, now comes with risks to their – and their families’ – lives in the UK. Charities are introducing new clinical services to fill this void, but the Government’s increasingly hostile environment for undocumented migrants continues to adversely affect women and children.
The Government’s justification for breaking confidentiality is the ‘public interest of immigration enforcement’. This does not consider the public interest in a confidential health service.
Have you asked the public? I think you might get a bit of a shock if you did…
Last year saw the introduction of a legal requirement to charge some migrants upfront for NHS care in hospitals and in community services. This means patients have to pay before treatment and if they cannot, they are turned away. This is clearly a direct contradiction to the NHS’s founding principle to provide care ‘based on clinical need, not ability to pay’.
That ‘founding principle’ was intended to apply to citizens. If you’d raised this back then, and suggested it should apply to illegal immigrants, even Aneurin Bevan would have laughed in your face.
Along with new family-planning services, we are tackling these policies in a number of ways, such as the social media #StopSharing campaign and our Safe Surgeries project, which advises and trains GP practices in ways they can support vulnerable migrants without going against NHS guidelines.
Interesting! Can you get charitable status for an organisation that is attempting to subvert the law?
One way to do that is putting down the practice address for the migrant patient, rather than their own.
I think that’s pretty easily foiled by simple cross checking, love.