BMA joins mounting protest against migrant Charging.

The BMA have just published a report which says exactly what we have been warning about for over a year. Migrant charging deters immigrants from seeking treatment, including for serious illnesses. Newham Save Our NHS and North East London Save Our NHS held a march recently to highlight the issue and we have persistently put questions to Barts Trust about this. At the end of our last march we asked for the Deputy Chief Executive officer to take our concerns back to the Trust Board and asked if they would be willing to tell the Government that local community health groups, institutions and campaigns were concerned about the impact of migrant charging and the ‘hostile environment’ on our diverse communities and among the most vulnerable sections of our local population.
In the BMA survey, 35% of interviewees said patients were being deterred from accessing care. One patient rejected eye cancer treatment and died in her 40’s as a result. Some patients have said they have not attended A and E because of fear of charging ( A and E’s are exempt from charging for care ) . One 60 year old was told before an operation that he would be charged £6000. Many pregnant women have gone without antenatal care and mothers have gone without postnatal care for fear of charging. People have been too frightened to ask for palliative or pain relieving treatment for the same reason. Dr. John Chisholm, chair of the BMA’s medical ethics committee insisted that ” policing patients’ access to and payment for treatment was not part of the remit of health professionals.
The BMA is calling for a review of the impact of such charging. We have been calling for this for some time. Savings from charging in the Government’s own estimation, would barely recoup 0.02% of the annual budget of the NHS. Phil Edwards ( Source: ” The Guardian. Friday 19th April 2019″ )

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