RCM calls for transparency on NHS migrant charging decision

on 11 June 2019 NHS

The Health and Social Care Committee has called on the Secretary of State for Health (Matt Hancock MP) to appear before it to explain his refusal to provide it with information on the Government’s review of NHS overseas visitor charging.

Commenting on the Committee’s request, Gabrielle Bourke, Policy Advisor at the Royal College of midwives (RCM), said: "This is a welcome move by the Health and Social Care Committee. The RCM has real concerns that charging for maternity care puts vulnerable women and babies at risk.

"The Government say they are committed to transparency yet in reality they appear to be doing the opposite.

"Women, health professionals and organisations such as the RCM should know why the Government have made the decision they have and what evidence and information it is based on. 

"We believe this decision could put the safety of women and their babies in jeopardy. We know that women are put off accessing maternity services for fear that they will be charged. This is a real concern because the situation could be an emergency and women could need care and support to stop harm coming to themselves or their developing baby. 

"The RCM signed a joint letter to the Secretary of State in March complaining about the lack of transparency. We support the Committee's request and again urge Matt Hancock and the Government to reconsider this decision."

A copy of the Health and Social Care Committee announcement on this can made on 5th June can be read here.

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.