Refugees have rights for free healthcare
The National Health Service core principle is to provide good free healthcare for all regardless of the wealth, circumstance or status. This was the leading demand put forward by the movement, of working class, ordinary people, student, migrant etc, that won the National Health Services for all – free at the point of use.
The following guidelines to explain to how the NHS work and what your fundamental rights are. It’s important to highlight that “refugees (those granted asylum, humanitarian protection or temporary protection by the UK)” do not have to pay charge or fees to use NHS.
For further information please click this link to connect to the gov.uk website to the NHS entitlement: migrant health Guide.
Below are some key points.
GP and nurse consultations in primary care and treatment provided by a GP are free of charge to all, whether registering as an NHS patient, or as a temporary patient, when the patient is in the area for more than 24 hours and less than 3 months.
The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 and Guidance on implementing the overseas visitor hospital charging regulations 2015 outline the following services in the NHS which are currently free of charge irrespective of country of normal residence (as long as the overseas visitor hasn’t travelled to the UK for the purpose of seeking that treatment):
• emergency treatment at any Accident & Emergency (A&E) department, walk in centre or elsewhere (but not further emergency treatment away from these locations eg operations, or subsequent outpatient appointments)
• services provided for the diagnosis and treatment of a number of communicable diseases, including HIV, TB and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) (see regulations for exact list)
• services provided for the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
• family planning services (does not include the termination of pregnancy or infertility treatment)
• services for the treatment of a physical or mental condition caused by: torture, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, sexual violence
• services provided outside an NHS hospital, unless the staff providing the services are employed by, or working under the direction of, an NHS hospital
The following groups are exempt from charge:
• refugees (those granted asylum, humanitarian protection or temporary protection by the UK)
• asylum seekers (those applying for asylum, humanitarian protection or temporary protection whose claims, including appeals, have not yet been determined)
• individuals receiving support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the 1999 Act) from the Home Office
• those whose application for asylum was rejected, but they are supported:
• under section 4(2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 by the Home Office
• by a local authority under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948
• Part 1 (care and support) of the Care Act 2014
• children looked after by a local authority
• victims, and suspected victims of modern slavery or human trafficking, as determined by the UK Human Trafficking Centre or the Home Office, plus their spouse or civil partner, and any children under 18 provided they are lawfully present in the UK
• those receiving compulsory treatment under a court order, or who are detained in an NHS hospital or deprived of their liberty (for example, under the Mental Health Act 1983 or the Mental Capacity Act 2005) who are exempt from charge for all treatment provided, in accordance with the court order, or for the duration of their detention
• prisoners and immigration detainees
Stop the cuts
Refugees and immigrants should not be blamed for the cuts that are taking place in vital services. We oppose all attempt to divide the community by blaming the cuts on refugees. This divisive propaganda is not based on facts and can only strengthen the far right – and racist ideology in the country. We stand together with those fighting against the cuts to the NHS -and provide better services for all. NHS need more investment to improve its services for all. Instead the government is trying to hand over the services to the private companies – in effect making this services inaccessible for all economically deprived communities. There will be enough money available to invest if the big corporation pay the taxes they suppose to pay. But in addition government policies should change to increase the corporate tax rather than punishing the poor.
British workers are very proud of their NHS and the history of struggle to win it. This service should not be abused or exploited by big corporation by making it a profit based system. We stand together with all those struggle to keep it free for all -free at the point of use.