Medact has been working with Alma Mata, Doctors of the World, Migrants’ Rights Network, the Terrence Higgins Trust, The National AIDS Trust, Still Human Still Here, Maternity Action and other organisations as part of the Entitlement Working Group. Medact also acts as the host for the EWG website dedicated to ensuring a strong response Government Consultation.
Medact Strategic Workshop
On Tuesday 25th March 2014, Medact held a strategic workshop with contributions from individuals on the front line and organisations such as Alma Mata, British Medical Association, Health Inclusion Team – Refugee Services (Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham), Doctors of the World, Horn of Africa Health & Wellbeing Project, ILPA, Maternity Action, Medical Information for Ethnic Minorities, The National Aids Trust, Still Human Still Here, The Terence Higgins Trust, amongst others.
This workshop focused on recent developments with the now Immigration Act 2014 and its associated proposals, which have seen the Government taking steps to radically restrict migrants’ access to the NHS. Measures that will disproportionately affect vulnerable migrant groups such as some victims of trafficking, victims of domestic violence, refugees, undocumented migrations and refused asylum seekers. Though refugees and asylum seekers are exempt from charging, the proposals risk creating further barriers to accessing care for these politically and socially ostracised groups. Whilst those unable to prove “indefinite leave to remain” will face an extension of charges to include emergency services and some primary care services including pharmacy, dentistry, optical, and community care (but excluding GP consultations).
These proposals have been widely criticised as discriminatory, unethical, not cost-effective, non- evidence-based and likely to impact on individual and public health. At this time, more than ever, Health professionals, who are well positioned to be key advocates for these vulnerable groups, need to make their voice heard.
If you would like to be involved in Medact’s work, in this area, please contact [email protected].