In a win for Human Rights and Health, it has just been leaked that the government will perform a U-turn on this especially cruel and morally reprehensible part of the hostile environment policy.
It is expected to be announced tomorrow that the NHS will no longer be forced to share patient data with the Home Office, to aid immigration officials.
The Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee twice called for the Memorandum of Understanding between the NHS and Home Office to be suspended, and in the mounting pressure on the “hostile environment” policy adopted by the government has led to this victory for vulnerable patients in the UK.
Last year alone, 3,000 sets of patient data were passed to the Home Office for immigration scrutiny purposes.
Students for Global Health has been glad to support the campaign of Docs not Cops, Medact’s Refugee Solidarity Group and Doctor’s of the World, and we’re delighted at this victory; but the battle is not yet over, injustices are still present and ending the NHS charging of care for people without proof of citizenship (predictably institutionalising racism), for example, is just one of several reasons to continue this campaign.
Below are our current and former National Directors, Alice Blewitt and Ben Eder at the flash mob outside the Home Office with a spoof “Go Home” van, which was originally part of the Home Office’s hostile environment policy
Link to Guardian exclusive report on the suspension of the policy: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/09/government-to-stop-forcing-nhs-to-share-patients-data-with-home-office