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Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association

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Press Release Press Release Press Release Press  Release   


13 August, 2004





Doctors and community nurses should not act as the government’s ‘health police’ when deciding if asylum seekers and political refugees should receive medical treatment.

There are fears that proposals to stamp out ‘health tourism’ could result in discrimination, be a threat to public health if people don’t receive medical attention and be very costly to administer.

The Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA), and the Medical Practitioners Union (MPU) – both sections of the Amicus trade union – outlined their concerns to the Department of Health’s consultation document, Proposals to Exclude Overseas Visitors from Eligibility to Free NHS Primary Medical Services.

The CPHVA said: ‘We would not support refusal of treatment, if no proof of eligibility or inability to pay were demonstrated to health care staff.’

‘We are concerned that changes will lead to more instances where staff will focus on people’s appearances and accents as to who can register and get treatment.’

The CPHVA believes that ‘health tourists’ and asylum seekers should be separated when it comes to eligibility for treatment, as there were different issues involved i.e. the ability to pay for treatment.

The MPU said: ‘Clinicians and their staff should not be involved in deciding eligibility for care or enforcing potentially inflammatory rules. No government should ask professional workers to compromise their ethics in such a way.’




For further information, please contact:

Obi Amadi ( 07780 955 936

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

Dr. Ron Singer mobile ( 07976 141 199

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA website: amicus-cphva.org

The CPHVA - the UK’s third largest nursing union - represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses, district nurses and nursery nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is a professional section of the Amicus trade union

The MPU – is a campaigning trade union for doctors.