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Restricting access to the NHS for undocumented migrants is bad policy at high cost

Keith L, van Ginneken E
BMJ 2015;350:h3056; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.h3056




The shocking loss of life among migrants crossing the Mediterranean and the UK government’s refusal to contribute to European search and rescue efforts despite public outcry have thrown into sharp focus the dehumanisation of migrants through negative political rhetoric and policies. Migrants’ right to life is also challenged by limited access to healthcare, particularly in the United Kingdom, where the first of several measures restricting access to NHS services for migrants, in a supposed “crackdown on health tourism,” came into force on 6 April 2015.1 But what are the real effects of such measures?

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