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When doctors become border guards

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Posted on May 25th 2018

Over the last month, JCWI has been collecting evidence on the impacts of the NHS Charging Regulations that imposed upfront charges to anyone deemed an “Overseas visitor” by the Department of Health. These regulations are turning doctors and nurses into border guards, by asking them to check the immigration status of their patients ahead of the duty to care.

JCWI have been working alongside Doctors of the World, Medact, Docs Not Cops and Migrants Organise to call for an end to the regulations.  We’ve supported clients that have been refused care because they’ve been unable to present immigration documents at the hospital, and challenged the Department of Health in their roll out of a set of regulations that have no proof of purpose. 

As part of our continued work on this issue, we’ve launched a series of workshops for front line immigration advisors and legal professionals to better understand these complex regulations. We’ve already run sessions in London and Oxford, and look forward to travelling the country to meet many of you who are rightfully concerned about the continuing expansion of the hostile environment to our NHS.

We’ve also opened a submission page to anyone who has come across case-studies of patients being wrongly/unlawfully denied treatment. If you’re interested in attending any one of the many sessions we have running across the country, do sign up. We hope that by connecting with those supporting people’s rights to access care we can mitigate any further roll out of charging to other parts of the NHS including A&E services, and ensure equal access to the NHS for all.

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