Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/935/24398
NHS: fight for funding - not passport checks
Right-wing politicians and newspapers are trying to blame the austerity and privatisation-induced NHS crisis on so-called 'health tourists'.
Deliberate 'health tourism' costs a miniscule 0.3% of NHS spending, according to analysis by the Mirror. The Tories are - outrageously - proposing that health workers carry out passport checks on sick people before giving care.
The Socialist spoke to Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, a doctor involved in last year's strikes:
"I am first and foremost a doctor, with my primary and only duty of care to treating patients, not judging who is eligible for treatment. This should not be brought to the bedside.
"The relatively small proportion of costs - less than 0.05% of the £120 billion per year budget - that will be recouped through this mechanism will be outweighed by the financial and resource-heavy cost of implementing it.
"There are other much more serious issues in the NHS with regards to waste and inefficiency that are not being addressed, and dwarf the minor costs of 'health tourism', such as crippling PFI debts, and the waste of running a marketised health system costing the taxpayer up to £10 billion per year.
"Focusing resources on blocking 'health tourists' is another way of the government scapegoating and blaming the cause of the crisis - which is of their own making - on a minority of individuals.
"As a doctor I am worried that this will lead to denying of care inappropriately, and racial profiling in hospitals, leading to inequality of clinical outcomes and risks to patients' lives."
In The Socialist 8 February 2017:
Southern Rail dispute
Socialism not Trumpism
Socialist Party news and analysis
Save our NHS!
Universal Basic Income
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International socialist news and analysis
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