MIGRANT ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE – THE ISSUES Don Flynn. MIGRANT STATUS AND ENTITLEMENT TO HEALTHCARE – BASIC POINTS. Entitlement to free healthcare on the NHS is dependent on residence status.
Asylum seekers whose application is still under consideration are also entitled to free free treatment.
A few categories of visitor can receive treatment for conditions that occurred after their arrival in the UK. This includes residents of the European Economic Area, or of countries with which the UK has bilateral healthcare agreements.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION POINTS
British Medical Association document Access to health care for asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers – guidance for doctors which summarises the various entitlements and means of accessing healthcare for asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
For types of service in the NHS that are currently free of charge irrespective of country of normal residence see National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011
If a GP refuses to register a patient they are obliged under clause 181-184 of the Standard General Medical Services Contract and Schedule 6 Part 2.17 of The National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations 2004 to notify the applicant, within 14 days of its decision, in writing of the refusal and the reason for it.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION POINTS
1. How do access regulations interact with health outcomes? Are migrants aware of their entitlements to healthcare? Are G.P.s aware of their obligations to register all residents?
2. What are the problems with migrant use of healthcare services? Is there evidence suggesting a problem with 'health tourism'? How do we balance this against public health imperatives to provide the widest possible cover to populations?
3. What is needed to strengthen advocacy on the part of the health needs of migrant communities? Who can be involved in this work? What messages need to be got across about the nature of the healthcare needs of migrants and who needs to hear these?
Also, see the website of healthcare charities concerned with issues migrant health needs http://migrantsandthenhs.wordpress.com
Migrants' Rights Network