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No GPs for failed asylum seekers

By Ian Quinn

Plans to deny hundreds of thousands of failed asylum seekers access to primary care have been criticised by the BMA.

Immigration minister Liam Byrne said this week the Home Office was pushing ahead with proposals to deny people refused asylum access to a range of health services.

He said: 'In our first cross Government enforcement strategy in March, we said we'd work collectively to shut down the privileges of those in Britain illegally. Our review of health care rules was promised at the time and is now ongoing.'

However, reports this week suggested the Department of Health has reservations about the plan and the BMA warned of GPs being placed in an ethical dilemma.

A spokesperson said: ‘GPs should not be put in the position of policing the system. Diverting people with medical needs to emergency departments will not address the underlying problems. We need to have a system that has appropriate measures in place to stop the deliberate abuse of NHS resources but also allows needy people to receive emergency care.'

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