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Immigration: Healthcare

Volume 697: debated on Monday 17 December 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they will publish their review of access to National Health Service healthcare for vulnerable migrants; and whether they will ensure that pregnant women of limited means are never refused care, and that the same applies to children. [HL331]

The review of access to the National Health Service by foreign nationals, which is being conducted in conjunction with the Home Office, is ongoing. It is due to be completed by the end of the year, after which there will be a full public consultation exercise on any proposals. The review is looking at a range of issues including maternity treatment and the treatment of children.

Current guidance to the NHS is clear that immediately necessary treatment, which should automatically include all maternity treatment, must never be refused, regardless of whether the patient concerned is ineligible for free treatment or has no money to pay.