Are any of these your MP?

By Jonathan Bartley
June 11, 2009

No, not more on their expenses. But there is a small window of opportunity to change the law so that asylum seekers can get better access to healthcare. The Standing Committee for the Health Bill has been announced and the members are:

Mary Creagh (Lab)
Mr Jim Cunningham(Lab)
Sandra Gidley (LD)
Patrick Hall (Lab)
Mr John Horam (Con)
Gillian Merron (lab)
Dr Doug Naysmith (Lab/Coop Bristol)
Mr Mike O'Brien (Lab)
Mr Stephen O'Brien (Con)
Mike Penning (Con)
Dr John Pugh (LD)
Mr Andy Slaughter (Lab)
Ms Angela C. Smith (Lab/Coop)
Mr Andrew Turner (Con)
Dr Desmond Turner (Lab Brighton)
Mr Rob Wilson (Con)
Chairs: Mr Edward O'Hara (Lab) and John Bercow (Con)

If any of these are your MPs please do what you can to lobby members of the committee and urge them to reinstate refused asylum seekers access to free secondary healthcare while still in the UK. Alert them to the dangers to public health, the administrative burden on healthcare workers and the suffering this policy can cause for the individuals affected.

Mike Kaye at Amnesty (who is Advocacy Manager of 'Still Human Still Here' of which we are a member) tells me he has spoken to Sandra Gidley who has agreed to retable an amendment which would allow all asylum seekers access to secondary healthcare without charging.

The timetable for the Committee stage is very short. First day of Committee is 16 June and they are supposed to conclude it all by 25 June - so there is not a lot of time...

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