- Created: Friday, 28 October 2016 13:52
- Written by Rachel Francis
‘Women forced to show passports.’ ‘Photo ID to access care’. The media reported with interest on St George’s NHS Trust’s October board papers, which propose that all women should show their passports at their first midwife appointment in order to prove their eligibility to receive care. Condemned by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Prime Minister’s Questions, the proposal received support from Theresa May, who stated: ‘Where there are people who come to this country to use our health service – and who should be paying for it – the health service identifies those people and makes sure it gets the money from them. I would have thought that would be an uncontroversial view.’ Accompanying editorials and articles argued for the need to ‘crackdown’ on ‘health tourism’ to limit the NHS’ growing debt. The financial crisis in the NHS is not the fault of people needing care. Measures such as those proposed by St George’s Trust will be harmful to the people who do need care, and will ultimately cost more. Even more importantly, they strengthen racist arguments about who should be cared for and who should not, and begin to normalise the NHS charging for care.