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Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:46 pm on 20th December 2004.

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Photo of Martin Linton Martin Linton PPS (Rt Hon Peter Hain, Lord Privy Seal), Leader of the House of Commons 7:46 pm, 20th December 2004

Indeed; that is a good argument in favour of entitlement cards. The point has been made a number of times that people might be refused emergency treatment if they do not have their card. That is wrong; the health service never asks for identification for accident and emergency treatment. It is only when treatment becomes longer term that the issue of identity is raised.

Hospital authorities already raise the question of identity for long-term treatment. Since April this year, longer procedures have been introduced to ensure that all health authorities check the identity of people who receive long-term treatment, and particularly whether they are holidaymakers or have residence status. It will be simpler to establish that fact because people will not need to produce so many pieces of paper.