Since 2015, the NHS in England (but not in the other British nations) has charged asylum seekers with no leave to remain for all but treatment in A&E, for listed infectious diseases, conditions related to torture, domestic and sexual violence, and female genital mutilation.  For all other treatments, they are charged as overseas visitors at 150 per cent of cost. These are vulnerable people who have escaped from war zones and persecution through dangerous and arduous conditions and who have no recourse to public funds nor the right to work.
CMF has long argued that these measures are unjust, carry public health risks, and violate a Christian ethos of welcome and care for the stranger. Many of the concerns that have spurred this legislation are spurious.  This new bill brings in further measures that will make an already desperate situation immeasurably worse for many.
At the time of writing, over two million refugees have fled the war in Ukraine, mostly to EU and other adjacent nations.  This number could well reach six or seven million in the coming months. We hope many of those will be welcomed into the UK. Yet, in recent years, we have not extended much of a welcome to those fleeing war, persecution, and poverty from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
CMF's Global Advocacy Group has written a briefing, blogs,  a podcast, and a letter to the Home Secretary, challenging the Bill and current policy. We have also produced a resource to help you write to your MP about the Nationality and Borders Bill,  and have signed a joint faith leaders' letter to the Government.  There is still time to encourage our leaders to welcome the stranger and the refugee by ensuring their access to NHS treatment.