Many of you will have read about the recent Windrush scandal – broken by Guardian with news of man Albert Thompson, who was denied cancer care because he wasn’t able to prove he lived in the country legally. Since then, we’ve heard many other stories of migrants (or those that may have appeared to be), including asylum seekers, being refused urgent treatment because of the same charging rules. This is partly out of confusion, but mostly because continued government efforts to make the NHS an agent of the Home Office are putting patient health second to border enforcement.
'At the Doctors of the World clinic, we regularly see pregnant women, people suffering from mental health issues, chronic diseases and even cancer who haven’t been able to see a doctor. We need to do better to ensure that everyone can access basic healthcare, especially people in vulnerable circumstances who are often most in need.”
Doctors of the World UK sees cases like this all the time at our drop-in clinics in London. In this workshop we’ll explore the stories of some of these patients and the government policies preventing them from getting the healthcare they need.'
DoTW is part of the international Médicins du Monde network. Established in 1980, it is an international organisation that provides medical care, strengthens health systems and addresses barriers to healthcare in 80 countries. Our work in the UK centres around a drop-in clinic in London, where we help people get the healthcare they need. We see just under 2,000 patients every year, mostly refused asylum seekers or undocumented migrants who’ve been unable to access NHS services. Leslie works with Service Users in the clinic, and with the mobile TB unit. She also delivers Safe Surgeries training for various medical institutions and health and wellness organisations.