Tuesday, July 21, 2009
NHS TO TREAT THOUSANDS OF FAILED ASYLUM SEEKERS
Daily Mail says the figure is 1 million !
THOUSANDS of failed asylum seekers are set to get free NHS treatment at taxpayers’ expense, it was revealed yesterday.
Immigrants whose claims for refugee status have been refused but who are still allowed to remain in Britain would be “exempt from charges” for healthcare under the plans.
The move is among a series of proposals in a shake-up of funding for healthcare for foreign nationals living in the UK. Other measures include free emergency treatment for all overseas visitors and giving doctors discretion over whether foreign nationals should get free NHS treatment.
But critics last night warned the move would encourage “health tourism”. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the population think-tank Migrationwatch, said: “These proposals amount to jamming open the door for illegal immigrants to access the National Health Service. No wonder they are queuing up in Calais.” He accused the Government of “dithering” over the proposals put forward five years ago.
“They have now chosen almost the last day of Parliament to announce their surrender to the immigration lobby,” said Sir Andrew.
He added: “With a financial crisis bearing down upon us we simply cannot afford to offer treatment to the whole world. Nor is it right that those who have paid into the system should be disadvantaged by those who have made no such contribution.”
Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green urged ministers to consider compulsory private health insurance for those from outside the European Economic Area.
He said: “It’s a matter of urgency that the Government considers requiring non-EEA nationals to have private health insurance in order to minimise the risk of health tourism.”
Ministers insisted the proposals were still being studied and health insurance requirements for visitors were under consideration.
Health Minister Ann Keen said: “These changes will support a clearer and fairer system of access to free NHS services that will maintain the confidence of the public and prevent inappropriate access while maintaining our commitment to human rights. These measures strike the right balance between controlled access, the protection and promotion of wider public health, and ensuring that the healthcare needs of the most vulnerable groups are protected.
“We remain firmly committed to the requirement that immediately necessary or other urgent treatment should never be denied or delayed from those that require it.”
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, of the British Medical Association, said: “There are many people who have had an asylum claim refused, cannot return home and need urgent treatment.
“This announcement, while positive, applies to only one group of people in this situation, and does not go far enough.”
NWN: The Welfare state and the NHS built by our parents and grandparents, the WW2 generation, for whom exactly ? Because here 'they' come !