The Right to Healthcare: A Critical Examination of the Human Right of Irregular Migrants to Access State-Funded HIV/AIDS Treatment in the UK
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractThe United Kingdom’s National Health Service (‘NHS’) emerged in the post-war era as part of a joint European effort to consolidate key social rights such as the right to health. To this end, the NHS pledged to provide a ‘comprehensive health service’ imparting health services free of charge at the point of delivery. It is true that, for the most part, the NHS has fulfilled its intended role and has offered its valuable services free of charge irrespective of the patient’s background. On the other hand legislation has always permitted ‘the making and recovery of charges [for health services]’ where ‘expressly provided for’ in the Act in question. Irregular migrants are ‘foreign nationals who do not comply with immigration law requirements.’ They carry the more familiar label of ‘illegal immigrants’ in everyday parlance. That term is avoided here partly because of its (largely erroneous) associations with criminality, but primarily because of the stigmatising and dehumanising effects that such epithets bear on the individual concerned. For these reasons the more neutral term ‘irregular migrant’ is preferred by some authors and is used throughout this chapter. Irregular migrants include clandestine entrants into the country, those in possession of falsified travel documents such as passports, those who have overstayed their visas or who are in employment contrary to their conditions of residence, and refused asylum seekers.
CitationDavies, C., Healey, R., & Hand, D. (2015). A critical examination of the right to healthcare and restrictions on access to state-funded HIV/AIDS treatment for irregular migrants. In A. Diver & J. Miller (Eds.), Justiciability of Human Rights Law in Domestic Jurisdictions. Springer International.