This is a guest blog written by Rayah Feldman, a campaigner with Hackney Patients Not Passports
Hackney Patients Not Passports (PNP) is delighted to have the opportunity to show the short film NHS Borderlands to staff at Homerton Hospital. Register for the event on Eventbrite here!
NHS Borderlands is an investigative documentary exploring the human impact of NHS charges on migrants. The short film explores the story of Angela, who fled persecution in Zimbabwe only to be subjected to Hostile Environment immigration policies in the UK and charged £8,000 for vital medical care. But Angela, like many others, is not allowed to work or claim benefits, and is among the poorest people in our society.
Angela’s story exposes the reality for thousands of people living in the UK who face charges for and exclusion from vital medical care, undermining the NHS’s founding commitment to universal healthcare.
Hackney PNP is part of the national Patients Not Passports network which seeks to raise awareness of NHS charging and its impact on migrants. Many health workers are unaware that the government’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policies against migrants also affect their patients.
Although the NHS is the most loved British public service, with its principle of treatment based on need, not ability to pay, it is now a major target of the Hostile Environment. People on visitor visas and those with irregular immigration status are now required to pay huge sums for hospital care. For example, standard maternity care, for example costs over £7000. Unless exempt, patients may be refused treatment if they cannot pay in advance.
After the film there will be a discussion and Q&A with members of Patients Not Passports in Hackney and from elsewhere. We’ll also provide information on where you can signpost patients who need to get advice if they’ve been charged, and provide information for healthcare workers, including what aspects of healthcare are not subject to charging.