Sunday, July 07, 2013

You'll pay for it, but who'll actually get it?

Doctor's orders: guard borders
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is right when he says: “It is a national health service not an international health service.”
But Hunt is dead wrong when he expects NHS doctors and nurses to crack down on health tourists.
Nobody wants the Mickey taken out of the NHS. Many will applaud Hunt’s proposal to charge non-EU foreigners for access to the NHS.
But doctors are not border guards. And nurses are not i­mmigration staff. There is not one A&E department, GP’s surgery or maternity ward in the land where they would turn someone away because of their immigration status.
We don’t live in that kind of country. Will a midwife demand to see the passport of a woman who just went into labour? Will a doctor refuse to treat a sick child because he doesn’t have the correct visa?
Politicians have clearly thrown away all control of our borders.
It should not be NHS staff who are asked to wrest it back.

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