NHS treatment will be available for tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers to ensure their human rights are honoured, it was announced yesterday.Which is nice to hear, isn’t it?
At present, they are denied free treatment if an asylum bid has been turned down but they have not left the country.
But a Government U-turn means failed applicants who are destitute or cannot return home 'through no fault of their own', will be entitled to free care.
Especially coming just a day after the idea of charging you £20 to see your GP was mooted…
The decision increases the numbers potentially able to use the NHS by tens of thousands. But the campaign group MigrationWatch believes it could open the floodgates to 'up to a million' illegal immigrants.I think Migration Watch is simply taking any figure estimated by the government and magnifying it by a factor of 10. God knows, it’s worked in the past…
The government’s plans may come unstuck, however:
Last night doctors undermined the strategy by saying it was not their job to act as immigration officers - raising the possibility that GPs would refuse to ask failed asylum seekers tough questions about their status.Really? They seem to have no problem asking tough question if you drink, smoke or like your fry-ups a bit too much. What’s the difference here?
Oh, and the British Meddling Association have decided that this is one government policy they don’t want to enthusiastically foist onto the population at any costs, thank you very much:
The British Medical Association said all failed asylum seekers should be treated free - and that it was not their job to decide who is eligible for free care and who is not.Tell me, Dr Vivienne, are you aware of the irony of the fact that your organisation has the word ‘British’ in its name?
Head of ethics Dr Vivienne Nathanson said: 'There are many who have had an asylum claim refused, cannot return home and need urgent treatment. This announcement, while positive, applies to only one group and does not go far enough. '
No, probably not…