Views And Reviews

Grenfell survivors shouldn’t be afraid to go to hospital

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 06 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3292
  1. Lucinda Hiam, GP and health adviser1
  1. 1Doctors of the World
  1. LHiam{at}

Immigration and healthcare are separate issues, denying people healthcare in a bid to deter immigration is inhumane

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, we have all been confronted with the reality of inequality in this country. The consequences of public sector cuts have been discussed at length. The political determinants of health and the need for public health professionals to “make the invisible visible” have been highlighted.

Yet the plight of the undocumented migrants and asylum seekers living in the tower has, so far, received little attention.

Volunteer medics helping Grenfell survivors have reported that many are not going to official relief centres or the NHS to get help, even if they have serious injuries, because they fear being referred to Home Office immigration teams.

This is an issue which is playing out across the UK, with grave consequences.

There are more than 500 000 people without resident status living …

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