Experienced Doctor Says Patients Have Died Due To ID Checks

26 June 2019, 15:11

During a heated exchange over health tourism, one GP claimed that NHS identity checks not only put patients off seeking help but claimed "people have died" as a result.

After one doctor told the British Medical Association's conference that charging migrants for accessing NHS services was a "fundamentally racist endeavour,” Nick Ferrari spoke to one GP on the issue.

Dr Helen Salisbury said she supported the statement, telling LBC that recently the rules were "really tightened up," with NHS "charging managers" looking around for wards for patients who needed to be charged.

The GP said in some places the charging managers were "demanding people's passports" when they turned up at A&E.

The experienced doctor said she asked "on what basis" were they asking for ID, adding "is it because they don't look British in some way?"

Describing identity checks as the "thin end of the wedge" she asked if they were going to check the passport of everybody.

Claiming that "people have been "deterred from having care," and shockingly saying "people have died as a result of these rules."

Emergency services in A&E remain free for everyone.
Emergency services in A&E remain free for everyone. Picture: PA

Nick Ferrari suggested that one solution might be for patients to give their National Insurance number or their NHS number to prove that they are entitled to free NHS care, "how hard is that?" he asked.

Dr Salisbury said it was hard, "what happened to the Windrush people who were denied their citizenship?"

Incredulously, Nick Ferrari asked "what on earth has Windrush got to do with it?"

"Well, some of them died from what would have been treatable illnesses because they couldn't afford to pay for them," the GP said.

She added that "people in desperate need are denied care."

Nick said it wasn't fair to suggest that because "A&E, quite rightly, will treat you irrespective of where you've come from."

The experienced doctor said that antenatal charges , and the charges for delivering a baby "do not come under this."

Nick Ferrari had a simple solution: "If you are that heavily pregnant, I suggest it's best you don't travel."

When the GP said it was creating a "hostile environment," Nick asked why it was a hostile environment to "ask someone to pay for something they've received?"

"Do you go into a restaurant, regularly eat and not pay?" he asked.

Dr Salisbury said: "That's the National Health Service that we have" adding that "people pay in other ways" such as though their taxes.

Watch the whole exchange in the video at the top of the page.