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Tabloids blame asylum seekers for GP shortages

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:290
  1. Mareeni Raymond, medical student
  1. Royal Free and University College London

    The UK tabloids have been fighting their latest war on asylum seekers on many fronts but one of the main battles has been about access to health services. On 27 January the Express claimed that a general practice in Birmingham was close to breaking point after 600 asylum seekers arrived to enrol. Last year the Daily Mail claimed that a medical centre in Derby was being given over to asylum seekers, forcing existing patients to go elsewhere. But perhaps the most emotive of this kind of story was on the front page of the Mail on Sunday on 19 January. The paper claimed that an 88 year old widow had been struck off by her general practice to make way for asylum seekers.

    The Mail on Sunday claimed that the widow, Lydia Perry, from Stoke-on-Trent, was “summoned to the surgery to be told by her GP, Uday Pathak, to find a new doctor.” The paper …

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