Making a difference
UK medical students have published unreleased government plans to restrict failed asylum seekers' access to medical care, reports Christopher Hands
A recent report published by the Global Health Advocacy Project shows medical students making an impact on behalf of vulnerable people in the United Kingdom (see www.wherestheconsultation.org). The project, part of the national student group Medsin, led an investigation into government plans to deny primary health care to vulnerable migrants, including failed asylum seekers, and uncovered information that had been gathered but not released four years ago.
In 2004 the Department of Health began consulting key stakeholders about the idea of withdrawing free health care from failed asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. The results of the consultation were never published. When Tom Yates, a medical student from Cambridge, and his colleagues at Medsin realised this, they set out to discover what the government didn't want to publish.
The results of their inquiries, Where's the Consultation, were published in August, including many of the responses to the original consultation.