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Independents' Day

GP in 'patient passport' row

By Steve Nowottny

A GP in Birmingham has accused hospital staff of ‘trying to be immigration officers', after two British Asian patients were denied treatment because they were unable to provide their passports.

Dr Vijayakar Abrol, a GP in Edgbaston, said both patients were refused treatment at City Hospital despite having their NHS numbers and signed referral letters.

‘ID cards are not needed in this country,' he said. ‘You have to identify patients, but there are ways and ways of identifying.'

A hospital spokesperson insisted the procedure was ‘in line with national guidelines', and said identification was sought ‘regardless of a patient's ethnic origin'.

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