Socialist Worker

Tory NHS racism exposed by health workers

Issue No. 2614

Defending migrants and the NHS

Defending migrants and the NHS (Pic: Guy Smallman)


NHS workers are handing back medals they won for fighting the Ebola crisis in west Africa. Presenting the medals in 2015, then Tory prime minister David Cameron said Britain owed the volunteers “an immense debt of gratitude”.

About 20 British doctors, nurses and midwifes are returning them in protest at Theresa May and the Tories’ “hostile environment” for migrants.

The health workers point to extra eligibility checks that bar migrants from accessing many free NHS services.

It is hypocrisy for the Tories to celebrate the heroic efforts of health workers abroad, while structuring the NHS so migrants are unable to seek healthcare in Britain.

Their concern for residents of west Africa, or any other migrants, stops at the British border.

Paediatrician Neal Russell called the policies “unethical and inhumane” and said, “I know of patients with infectious diseases, including TB, who have been deterred from accessing care, and who have later died.”

Stopping migrants from using the NHS is not a side effect of the extra checks put into practice in 2014 and 2017, but its purpose.

The real threat to the NHS is not migrants, who are responsible for building it.

The true culprits are the vicious Tories who hold working class life in such disregard they cut the NHS until it’s at breaking point.


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