Tuesday, 21 July 2009

NHS to be swamped by 1m illegals

By GRAEME WILSON
Deputy Political Editor, The Sun

A MILLION illegal immigrants could benefit from proposals to let failed asylum seekers use the NHS, it was claimed last night.
The Government came under fire for unveiling plans to give free health care to thousands of asylum seekers AFTER their applications have been rejected.

Experts warned the decision to loosen the rules could give the green light to a million illegals already in Britain to use the NHS.

The decision was slipped out by ministers the day before Parliament breaks up for the summer.

Under current rules, asylum seekers get free healthcare while their application is being considered.

However, they lose this privilege if their asylum claims are rejected.

Under the new proposals, failed asylum seekers who have a "recognised barrier" to returning home - or who are surviving on state handouts - will get free NHS treatment.

Failed asylum seekers with kids and unaccompanied children will also be eligible.

Migrationwatch chairman Sir Andrew Green blasted the move last night. He said: "These proposals amount to an open door for one million illegal immigrants to get access to the NHS.

"It's little wonder that thousands are queuing up around Calais to get in."

But health minister Ann Keen insisted: "They strike the right balance between controlled access, the protection and promotion of wider public health, and ensuring that the healthcare needs of the most vulnerable groups are protected."