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BMJ. 2007 December 1; 335(7630): 1109.
PMCID: PMC2099538
Asylum Seekers' Access to Care

Document is worrying

Philip R Matthews, specialist registrar, psychiatry

The Home Office document mentioned in Mooney's news report contains some rather worrying features.1 2 It talks about NHS trusts sharing information with the immigration authority regarding failed asylum seekers, without any mention of confidentiality.

It also confidently states that new technology will help assess the age of claimants who say that they are minors. Is anyone aware of a new technological advance that has suddenly resolved the difficult problem of age assessments? Or is the government placing too much faith in a fix that could result in vulnerable children being wrongly treated as adults?

Notes

Competing interests: PRM previously worked as a general practitioner in special services for asylum seekers, and has prepared medicolegal reports relating to asylum claims.

References

1. Mooney H. Charity warns of proposed restrictions to asylum seekers' access to primary care. BMJ 2007;335:1012-3. (17 November.) doi: 10.1136/bmj.39395.728472.DB
2. Home Office. Enforcing the rules: a strategy to ensure and enforce compliance with our new immigration laws. 2007. www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/6353/aboutus/enforcementstrategy.pdf

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