On the 12th March we outlined our position that the Immigration Health Surcharge should be scrapped, not increased - read our statement at: docsnotcops.co.uk/scrap-the-immi… (1/THREAD) #ScrapTheSurcharge #PatientsNotPassports
This was the day after @RishiSunak announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) – paid at point of visa application/renewal would rise from £400/year to £624/year (disgustingly, as he announced Coronavirus measures)

2/Thread #ScrapTheSurcharge #PatientsNotPassports
On 12th March we said:
* #ScrapTheSurcharge in its entirety
* Charging for NHS access is about govt tearing up universal care, not raising money
* IHS is an additional tax on migrants
* The IHS is motivated by furthering xenophobic & racist narratives /3 #PatientsNotPassports the Immigration Health Surc...
Today, 4th May, @ameliagentleman has written an article in @guardian about the Immigration Health Surcharge theguardian.com/society/2020/m…

She writes: "Pressure is mounting on the government from doctors, nurses and carers to #ScrapTheSurcharge" /4
Carl Perez (27), a nurse recruited 2 yrs ago from the Philippines, is quoted

"We are being penalised by having to pay this large sum out of our own pockets. We’re already paying for the NHS through our NI & tax... It doesn’t leave much left for accommodation and living costs” /5 Carl became ill with Covid-...
Carl Perez - "working at a care home in the West Midlands where several residents have died from the illness" and currently isolating, also says

"It is not fair for us migrants to shoulder the burden of the extra funding for the NHS." /6 #ScrapTheSurcharge #PatientsNotPassports
As the article notes, the Surcharge was introduced in 2015 as part of the #HostileEnvironment (it's why Docs Not Cops formed back in 2014 irr.org.uk/news/immigrati… this sadly isn't mentioned in the article)

Since then, the cost of the IHS has risen 3 times. /7 #ScrapTheSurcharge
Susan Cueva, a trustee of @kanlunganuk Filipino Consortium said -because of wider #HostileEnvironment measures- many international healthcare workers are afraid of losing their jobs & being deported “they keep on working, knowing they are risking their lives”/8 #ScrapTheSurcharge
There are a number of campaigns around this.

On 16th March, @JCWI_UK @libertyhq @Medact, ourselves & many others signed a letter to Home Secretary @patel4witham-calling for urgent changes in light of #Covid19: jcwi.org.uk/protecting-mig… /9 #ScrapTheSurcharge #PatientsNotPassports
The letter calls on @patel4witham not only to ensure access to healthcare, but to ensure all migrants have access to vital public services by suspending 'No Recourse To Public Funds' (#NRPF) conditions - also mentioned in @ameliagentleman's article jcwi.org.uk/protecting-mig… /10
Another letter was sent by @DOTW_UK & other orgs representing healthcare professionals, refugees &migrants living in UK, calling on @patel4witham @MattHancock to:

Suspend the NHS Charging Regulations 2015 & 2017 + all associated ID checks/data sharing docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAI… /11 Dear Home Secretary and Sec...
There is also a petition, "Reduce or scrap the immigration health surcharge for overseas NHS Staff" (currently 5,000+ signatures) petition.parliament.uk/petitions/3019…

We wish to stress that our position is - and always has been - #ScrapTheSurcharge for *everyone* /12
We would also like to stress that this is about the right of all to access healthcare (#PatientsNotPassports), not an argument that the NHS/UK economy, relies on overseas workers

Neither @ameliagentleman's article nor the petition in previous tweet match our demands /13
Exemptions and tinkering aren't good enough.

Health and care workers don't just want the Immigration Health Surcharge scrapped for ourselves-the govt must #ScrapTheSurcharge for everyone!

And we're not the only people saying so /14 #PatientsNotPassports
The World Health Organisation is clear: "It's vital that everyone, including all migrants & refugees have equal access to health services and are included in national responses to #COVID19, incl. prevention, testing & treatment"
/15 #PatientsNotPassports
Get your MP to sign Early Day Motion 537:
* Suspend all NHS charging
* Ensure patient data will not be shared with Home Office
* Ensure NHS staff & public are aware of these changes & that it is safe to seek care edm.parliament.uk/early-day-moti… #ScrapTheSurcharge #PatientsNotPassports/16 suspend all NHS charging fo...
Finally, stand with us as we demand access to health and care for all!

Sign up to our #DocsNotCops mailing list at: docsnotcops.co.uk/join/

Join the #PatientsNotPassports campaign via act.patientsnotpassports.co.uk

17/thread ends
oops we got the Early Day Motion number wrong in the thread above - it's EDM #357 edm.parliament.uk/early-day-moti… 18/thread

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More from @DocsNotCops

21 May
Whilst we welcome news that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) will be scrapped for NHS and social care workers - WE MUST GO FURTHER ⬇️⬇️ 1/
Since it’s introduction in 2015, we have called for an end to the IHS for ALL 2/
It acts as a form of double taxation on people who already pay to use the NHS through their taxes, penalising people simply because they weren’t born here 3/
Read 8 tweets
2 Apr
THREAD on our latest blog

Doctor and member of @DnCGlasgow, Anna O’Neill, asks "How many more crises will it take to get the message across?"

docsnotcops.co.uk/not-pandemic-p… #PatientsNotPassports (1)
We'll be joining #ClapForOurCarers tonight at 8pm, but we'll be chanting - as loud as we can
📢Test, test, TEST!
😷 PPE!
💙 Keep Key Workers Virus Free! (2)
Last week @BorisJohnson joined #ClapForOurCarers-applauding NHS staff on national TV outside No.10.

As leader of @Conservatives - the party that has systematically undermined the health & social care sectors for a decade under austerity cuts - this could not be more ironic (3)
Read 17 tweets
9 Dec 19
NEW: "I nearly died but was still presented with a £93,000 bill for my treatment" - Simba Mujakachi writes in @MetroUK on how the #HostileEnvironment has affected him - and many others metro.co.uk/2019/12/09/i-n… (thread) #JusticeForSimba #PatientsNotPassports
@MetroUK 2/
Simba had a stroke
His family were told he only had a 30% chance of survival
Simba survived the operation, which involved removing a piece of his skull, but was left paralysed on his left side

In the stroke rehabilitation unit, Simba was presented with a bill for £93,000
@MetroUK 3/
As part of the ‘#HostileEnvironment’, the Conservative govt changed the law in 2017 so that ‘ineligible migrants’ have to pay up-front for ‘non-urgent’ care.

Yet even though Simba's operation was needed to save his life, he has to pay for it.

Free at the point of need?
Read 14 tweets
14 Aug 19
The Department of Health has sent a directive to NHS Trusts telling them "new visitors from [countries in the EU] to the UK will be chargeable at the standard NHS tariff" from Oct 31st (thread)
mirror.co.uk/news/politics/…
#HostileEnvironment #PatientsNotPassports
We've been campaigning against NHS charges since the 2014 Immigration Act, which introduced new immigration health "surcharges" - increasing the costs of visas for non-EEA nationals working, studying, or visiting families for longer than six months irr.org.uk/news/immigrati… /2
Since 2014 the Immigration Health Surcharge has been doubled. The costs were already prohibitive. It is a form of "double taxation" as @SatbirLSingh @JCWI_UK explains here: talkradio.co.uk/news/plan-doub… /3
Read 23 tweets

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