Thursday, February 9, 2023

Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price stresses new patients without address or ID must be given access to GP surgeries

Doyle Price

THURROCK MP Jackie Doyle-Price rose on the floor of the House of Commons to answer questions on patients without proof of identity being allowed to register at GP surgeries.

Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Privileges

What steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients with no (a) fixed address and (b) proof of identity can register at GP surgeries.

Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are very clear that GP surgeries cannot refuse to register somebody who is of no fixed abode or has no proof of identification. Where a practice does not properly provide correct access to vulnerable groups, the commissioner will intervene to ensure that it corrects that. Ultimately, the commissioner can issue a remedial notice and can terminate a contract or practice that still does not abide by its obligations.

Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Privileges

Has the Minister seen the report by a mystery shopper from Friends, Families and Travellers who attempted to register with 50 GP practices without ID or proof of address? Twenty-four refused to register her or would not register her; all but two of those were rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. The Minister says GPs must properly follow the guidance, but does she agree that the CQC needs to ensure that it uses the inspection regime to enforce that guidance?

Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I totally agree. I have seen the report, which I welcome; I will certainly take it up with the CQC. It is very important that we use all tools to ensure that everyone has access to the healthcare they deserve, because it is all too easy for some groups to remain discriminated against. I am grateful to the hon. Lady for shining a light on this important issue.

Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

We have one of the very few free at point of need health services in the world. Does the Minister agree, however, that checks are important in cracking down on health tourism? Does she have the latest assessment of the cost of health tourism to our NHS?

Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

My hon. Friend is absolutely right—health tourism is a major cost to the taxpayer, so it is important that we establish that people are entitled to care. However, it is important to ensure that people without proof of ID and of residence are still entitled to healthcare. Where someone is not entitled to it, we will, of course, pursue them for payment.

9 COMMENTS

  1. JDP response is exactly one of the reasons why our NHS is in the state it is
    ,anyone from an where on the planet can come and get access to our NHS services and FREE treatment for virtually any ailment.
    JDP How can you chase these people for payment if the do not have to produce I D or a address of where the live?.
    If any of us British citizens turned up abroad and tried to do the same we would be told to clear off, and go back to whence we came.

  2. Have to agree with patrickh on this one.

    If you are here legally and go through the process ok.

    If you burn your passport and are here illegally and use fake names billing some poor sod.
    You should be left to die. Or I should kill you Either is fine with me.

  3. Here, here Catching the Bus.

    We are all sick of the NHS being taken for a ride. Ultimately we all pay the price for that.

  4. While it is not right that anyone can get free treatment on the NHS I have to point out that if people go untreated because they are refused access to GPs, etc, then it could well create a public health emergency due to potential infectious disease outbreaks and that could create a bigger price to pay than allowing free treatment for all regardless of circumstances.

  5. This has always been the case with the NHS, anyone regardless of where they are from are entitled to free primary care (Doctors) but not secondary care (Hospitalisation) this they have to pay for if they are not a UK tax payer or British Citizen.

    What fails to happen in hospitals is that any immigrant that has hospital treatment they fail to adequately chase for the money, what should happen is that anyone not entitled to secondary treatment should show they have funds or an insurance policy that will cover them, obviously other methods are needed for life/death emergency treatment.

  6. Lambo – I agree with you but the NHS would need more money for administrative staff to check on insurance policies and to chase payments which it won’t get under the Tories. As for life and death emergency treatment, that should be given without restrictions otherwise the UK could end up getting sued if someone died although every effort should be made to get payment for the treatment as soon as possible.

  7. Simple.
    No healthcare policy cover no entry to the UK.

    You wouldn’t get into some countries without cover so why here.
    I don’t want the Yanks doing health tourism to this great country, because there own system is a rip off “Racket” Shambles.

  8. Valen – Your comments seem to be well considered and not as reactionary as some of the other posters on here. You seem to look at the big picture rather than at one piece of the whole subject. I’m glad there are some sensible people out there like you.

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