NHS charging is especially damaging for undocumented migrant women, many of whom are socially and economically marginalised and vulnerable.
This is according to the September 2019 report (pdf) from Maternity Action which investigates the impact of the policy of charging ‘overseas visitors’ for NHS care on midwives’ practice or professional responsibilities.
The report finds:
- Midwives recognised that they needed to address both health and social issues facing women who were charged. They were aware of the barriers to good care facing such women, including poverty and destitution, domestic abuse, poor and inadequate housing, and a poor command of English
- Several midwives were concerned about racial profiling and discrimination in assessing women’s eligibility for care
- Persuading women to attend for care regardless of their fears of charging involved significant extra work.