Anger at asylum-seeker health cuts

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The denial of health services to failed asylum-seekers including Aids treatment to prevent pregnant mothers passing the disease to their babies has been attacked by politicians and medical experts ahead of a review which could see further cuts to their care.

Currently asylum-seekers whose claims have been refused are only allowed free access to GPs and emergency care.

Now the authors of a joint Department of Health and Home Office review to be published in January are considering imposing further restrictions, which would mean only emergency health care is given.

Since 2004, when vital Aids-combating antiretroviral (ARV) drugs were made part of a list of secondary treatment, many lives have been put at risk.

Andrew Dismore, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, said further restrictions would be "barking mad". He added that if asylum-seekers did end up getting deported then the UK was likely to end up paying for their Aids treatment in foreign aid anyway.