'Don't use GPs to police immigration' says BMA

GPs should not be used to police the immigration system, says BMA council chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum.

Dr Hamish Meldrum
Dr Hamish Meldrum

Dr Meldrum was speaking after writing to home secretary Jacqui Smith to complain about the deportation of Ama Sumani, a Ghanaian, who cannot afford life saving dialysis treatment in her own country.

He said: ‘Showing compassion in this case wouldn't open the floodgates of uncontrolled health immigration.'

Dr Meldrum also expressed concerns that the government was pressuring GPs to question the immigration status of unregistered patients.

‘There have been suggestions that GPs or their staff should ask patients who they are, and where they're from,' he said. ‘If we start going down that road it gets us away from what we should be doing, which is treating patients.'

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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