News

Government’s immigration bill 'could endanger migrants’ health'

30 January 2014 | by Liz Dodd

The bishop responsible for migration policy has warned that victims of trafficking and domestic violence could be denied vital health care if the Government's Immigration Bill becomes law.

The bill, which is being debated in the House of Commons today, proposes to restrict migrants’ access to free NHS services and would require landlords to conduct checks on tenants’ immigration status.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Bishop Patrick Lynch, an auxiliary bishop in Southwark, said he feared that the bill might deter vulnerable people from seeking help.

“It is vital that victims of human trafficking, female genital mutilation and domestic abuse are not denied medical treatment as a result of misidentification, delays in identification or because they feel discouraged to seek assistance,” he said.

“Victims of these horrific abuses are often reluctant to seek help in the first place and it is therefore essential that robust safeguards are in place.”

Bishop Lynch said that he was particularly concerned that charging for NHS services could mean that pregnant women would try to cope with their pregnancies alone, and called for children of migrants to be exempt from the legislation.

His concerns were echoed by the Caritas Social Action Network, the social action arm of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Chief executive Helen O’Brien said that the bill must include protections for children and victims of abuse and warned that the proposals around tenancy could discourage landlords from renting to migrants and increase homelessness.



Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

British soldier turned priest who risked life to keep Catholic church alive in Algeria to become a bishop17 March 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Meetings, money and dress code: how Francis is trying to change curia, by one of his most influential advisors21 March 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pope 'deeply saddened' by Westminster terrorist attack and assures those affected of his prayers23 March 2017 by Rose Gamble

British soldier turned priest who risked life to keep Catholic church alive in Algeria to become a bishop17 March 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Meetings, money and dress code: how Francis is trying to change curia, by one of his most influential advisors21 March 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pope 'deeply saddened' by Westminster terrorist attack and assures those affected of his prayers23 March 2017 by Rose Gamble

Nouwen and the wounded healer: History offers a vision of what the priesthood can look likePremium16 March 2017 by Michael W. Higgins

Once a Catholic: Many of Martin Luther's demands have come to pass in the 500 years since he published his demandsPremium16 March 2017 by Peter Stanford

He had fathered a boy in 1974. It is the sort of thing that could happen to any manPremium16 March 2017 by Christopher Howse

Nouwen and the wounded healer: History offers a vision of what the priesthood can look likePremium16 March 2017 by Michael W. Higgins

Once a Catholic: Many of Martin Luther's demands have come to pass in the 500 years since he published his demandsPremium16 March 2017 by Peter Stanford

He had fathered a boy in 1974. It is the sort of thing that could happen to any manPremium16 March 2017 by Christopher Howse

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top