In response to today’s Appeal Court ruling that it may be unlawful to deny refused asylum seekers life saving treatment if they are unable to return home, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“It cannot be right to deny vulnerable asylum seekers life saving treatment simply because they are unable to pay for it, and we hope that this ruling will offer extra protection to those who are very sick and vulnerable.
“However, we remain concerned that a charging regime for refused asylum seekers still exists at all. Almost all asylum seekers arrive in the UK with nothing, and a great many of those who are refused but who can’t go home straight away end up homeless and destitute. To refuse treatment to those people simply because they cannot pay for it is appalling and inhumane.
“The government has been due to publish a review to the charging regulations for some time. We urge them to reconsider the rules in light of the judgment and all the other evidence of the inhumanity of the charging regime and let asylum seekers access treatment at least until they are able to go home.”