Our campaign against healthcare charging for migrants has grown in response to the needs of visitors impacted by increasingly punitive government regulations within NHS Trusts required to charge ‘overseas patients’ for secondary (hospital) care.
Why we are campaigning to end healthcare charges
Visitors to Hackney Migrant Centre often bring invoices ranging from £1,500 to over £96,000 for medical treatments. Types of treatments include maternity care, care for premature babies, cancer treatment, operations for young children and treatment for severe mental health issues.
This results in a great deal of distress and uncertainty. It often acts as a deterrent to seeking further treatment or causes a deterioration in the visitor’s health condition.
It has become clear there is a need for advocacy on behalf of those affected by such policy, and for greater understanding of its impact more broadly.
Our campaign now encompasses three main areas
Looking at visitors’ case files in detail to explore exemptions, entitlements and working to write off or negotiate debts.
Campaign and Media
Engaging with organisations such as MedAct, Docs Not Cops, Maternity Action, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) on their wider campaigns around access to healthcare and healthcare justice.
Collating all HMC’s data on visitors with NHS charges detailing the size of charges, NHS Trust names, treatment background, current issues being faced, options with regards to debt and any associated NHS or third party contacts.