We welcome the short briefing from Regional Asylum Activism on healthcare entitlements for asylum seekers and refugees.
We agree with them that access to healthcare should be free for anyone who has claimed asylum in the UK, regardless of their current status in the system. The briefing is attached below and also outlines the proposed changes to healthcare entitlements that will come into force later this year. This will have a negative impact on destitute, refused asylum seekers, who will now be expected to pay for emergency care, hospital treatment and some aspects of referred primary care.
The most recent NHS guidance on charging ‘overseas visitors’ for accessing healthcare was published in a 90 page document in October 2013 and can be accessed here. Pages 27 – 30 outline the entitlements of refugees, asylum seekers, refused asylum seekers and other relevant groups. Chapter 4 explains when the NHS will provide hospital treatment to those not entitled to free care but in need of treatment.
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