Socialist Worker

NHS checks mean women denied access to abortions

Issue No. 2642

Theresa May launching a Tory plan for the NHS in January - her governments racist rules are denying care to migrants

Theresa May launching a Tory plan for the NHS in January - her government's racist rules are denying care to migrants (Pic: Number 10/Flickr)


The Tories have been forced to admit that migrants were wrongly denied NHS treatment because of racist health charges.

Hospital bosses told 22 people to cough up before they could begin treatment despite the severity of their health conditions.

They included three pregnant migrants who were denied the right to have an abortion.

Rules state that those with “immediately necessary and/or urgent” needs should receive care without upfront costs.

Tory peer Zahida Manzoor said that “22 case studies included instances where individuals were required to make advance payment for treatment that the department has concluded was arguably, on proper analysis, immediately necessary and/or urgent”. A government legal document released last year said, “Evidence suggests some cases of poor practice where treatment the department considers to be ‘immediately necessary’ and/or ‘urgent’ is treated as non-urgent.

“Three examples concerning pregnant women who have said that they chose not to have an abortion due to a requirement to make advance payment, with the result that they proceeded with the pregnancy”.

Migrants from outside of the European Union are denied the right to free “non-emergency” treatment.

The rules are designed to discourage migrants seeking care and to scapegoat migrants for the NHS crisis caused by cuts and privatisation.

And they are also a bridge to charging other patients for care to undermine the NHS.


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