NAT comment on the Queen's speech and the impact it could have on people living with HIV.
NAT (National AIDS Trust) responds to the announcement in the Queen's speech today that migrants will face further restrictions to accessing NHS services.
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT says "The Government has provided no evidence of the 'health tourism' which the restrictions on migrant access to the NHS outlined in today's Queen's Speech are meant to address. In relation to HIV treatment, we know that claims of 'health tourism' are completely unfounded. Our research has shown that migrants living with HIV are, on average, in the UK for five years before they are even diagnosed. Far from being motivated by a desire to access health services, the Government's own research found that asylum seekers did not have any detailed knowledge of the NHS before coming to the UK.
A universal health service is a really important weapon in the battle against HIV in the UK. Many migrants already struggle to register with a GP and access healthcare. Further restrictions will make it even less likely that they are offered the HIV testing and treatment they need for their own health and that of the wider community."
NAT also calls on the Government to pay more attention to the needs of working age disabled people, including people living with HIV, in their plans for social care.
To read NAT's full response on the Queens Speech 2013 visit our website - http://www.nat.org.uk/Our-campaigns/Parliamentary-activity/The%20Queens%... [Editor: link no longer available]
Notes to the editor:
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NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.
Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.
www.lifewithHIV.org – a resource for HIV positive people
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