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Health department’s denial of free health care to asylum seekers was unlawful, judge says

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 17 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:849
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1London

Department of Health guidelines that instructed health authorities to deny free treatment to failed asylum seekers have been ruled unlawful by a High Court judge.

The test case, involving a Palestinian man with liver disease named only as Mr A, could change the entitlement to free health care of about 11 000 asylum seekers whose deportation has been delayed after rejection of their application.

Mr A agreed to return to the West Bank in 2005 when his application for asylum was refused, but his departure has been held up for three years by travel restrictions and problems …

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