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National AIDS Trust Welcomes Landmark High Court Judgement

Friday, April 11, 2008

The High Court has ruled that failed asylum seekers are entitled to free NHS treatment. 

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of the National AIDS Trust comments;

“We welcome this landmark decision of the High Court which grants failed asylum seekers their basic human right to health. 

The National AIDS Trust was one of the first organisations to recognise the unfairness in the treatment charges introduced by the Department of Health in 2004 and helped bring this case to court.  For years failed asylum seekers have been denied free treatment for long term conditions including HIV.  Many have faced enforced ill-health as government policy has left them destitute and without health care. 

This decision means that the government must recognise that all failed asylum seekers are considered ordinary residents in the eyes of the law, until they are removed from UK, and are thus entitled to free NHS care.

It is a decision that recognises health care as a human right as recommended by the Joint Committee on Human Rights. 

We are delighted that the court has made this ruling and we urge the government to accept their judgement.”

Notes to the Editor:

For further information contact Katherine Sladden, Communications Officer on 07947725299

National AIDS Trust

The National AIDS Trust (NAT) is the UK's leading independent policy and campaigning voice on HIV and AIDS. It aims to prevent the spread of HIV, encourage early diagnosis, ensure people living with HIV have access to treatment and care, and eradicate HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
www.nat.org.uk