I take an angry red pen* to the DH response from this phony ‘listening exercise’ of a consultation in an attempt to draw attention to DH proposals that will change the NHS irreversibly. We should all be worried about the ‘direction of travel’.
Be under no illusions – the NHS as we know it is being dismantled. The proposals set out within this document would restrict migrant access to the NHS by charging for visits to A&E and introducing a health surcharge of £200 payable on entry to the UK. GP consultations will remain free (for public health reasons) but it is unclear whether migrants will be chargeable for care following on from the initial consultation.
To implement these proposals stricter formal GP registration processes would be introduced to differentiate between chargeable and non-chargeable patients. In order to aid with the identification of chargeable patients the government wants to create an ‘information gateway’ so data can be shared between the NHS, DWP and HMRC amongst other agencies, with little regard for the Data Protection Act and the critical issue of the confidentiality of our medical records. Eeek.
For more information on the Migrant Health Bill take a look at –
- ‘Changes to Migrant Access to Care’ from National Voices
- ‘Charging for Healthcare, closing the doors on the NHS’ on Guerrilla Policy
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*Apologies in advance for my handwriting and thanks to my housemate Jo for providing me with the technology!