As part of its "hostile environment" policy, the Government changed the law in 2014, forcing some migrants to now pay for using the NHS.
We the undersigned oppose these charges, introduced in October 2017, that are dividing our communities and undermining our National Health Service. We believe they are designed to divide us and distract us from the real problems the NHS faces – underfunding, privatization and cuts to staff pay and conditions.
The Government has no real data to prove that "health tourism" is a big NHS problem. In fact, research has shown that it costs the NHS more to collect the charges than any revenue generated.
We believe NHS staff are health workers and shouldn't be made to police immigration controls. We believe these measures are dangerous for migrants and public health in general. Deterring people from accessing healthcare and treatment puts the whole community at risk.
Therefore, we call on you, Robert Woolley, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and executive lead for the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, to:
- Suspend ID checks in the Trust.
- Suspend upfront charging in the Trust - and
- Call on Government to suspend charging in the NHS and return our Health Service to its original values.