Healthcare charging

Join Asylum Matters in taking urgent action on damaging healthcare charging regulations.

Imminent changes are being made to health services in England that will negatively affect migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and will also impact on the services all patients receive.

Some people in the UK are not entitled to free NHS hospital care. This includes people who are here for short-term
visits, undocumented migrants, and some asylum seekers whose claims have been refused. There are already
processes in place for hospitals to identify and bill patients for their care. The Government has now made new
regulations extending NHS charges to community healthcare services, and placing a legal requirement for all hospital departments and all community health services to check every patient’s paperwork and charge up front for
healthcare; refusing non-urgent care where a patient cannot pay.

These damaging and unworkable proposals will cause unnecessary human suffering, and put additional pressure on our over-stretched NHS. For further details on our concerns, read the Asylum Matters briefing here.

These amendments were laid before Parliament on 19 July and will become law without debate unless they are either withdrawn by the Government or annulled by the opposition through a process known as ‘praying against’ the regulations.

How can you help?

The regulations came into force on Monday 23 Oct, but there are still approximately two weeks left when they can be challenged in Parliament.  If you have links to any Peers or MPs, please get in touch with them to voice your concerns!

1. Do you have links to any members in the House of Lords, or know of a Peer who might be willing to speak out on the issue?

Write to member(s) of the House of Lords, sharing our briefing and urging them to join the debate on Lord Hunt’s Regret Motion, and any other Motions that are tabled in the meantime, and/ or asking them to table a Fatal Motion on the regulations themselves. Here is an email template for you to use. Not sure who to contact? Why not search for a Lord with a connection to your area here.

2. Write to your MP about the issue? 

Call on your MP to ensure this damaging piece of legislation is withdrawn or annulled. There is an email template here that can be adapted according to which party your MP is from.

Thanks in advance all those who are able to support this campaign.

Estelle Worthington, Asylum Matters