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Failed asylum seekers in Wales will get free health care from mid-July

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 06 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2704
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. 1BMJ

    Failed asylum seekers in Wales will be able to get free health care from 15 July this year, as a result of changes to the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006. The changes mean that people whose application for asylum has failed will not be charged for services forming part of the health service and that they will be entitled to the same health services as someone ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom.

    This is in contrast to England, where failed asylum seekers and people not ordinarily resident in the UK are liable for healthcare costs, although trusts have discretion to provide treatment even when a patient has no means of paying.

    Edwina Hart, minister for health and social services in the Welsh Assembly government, announced her intention to change the regulations in May 2008 and has since been consulting with the NHS and church leaders on the proposals. …

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