Migrants: Maternity Services

Home Office written question – answered on 21st July 2022.

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Photo of Stephen Kinnock Stephen Kinnock Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of charges for NHS care on the availability of maternal health care for migrant women; and whether she has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on that matter.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Visa holders who have paid the immigration health care (IHS) or who are exempt from payment, are able to access NHS care on broadly the same basis as UK nationals.

The exemptions to payment of the IHS are set out in the Immigration (Health Charge) Order 2015 and include vulnerable categories such as asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. Migrants who have paid the IHS or are exempt from payment would be able to access maternity care without charge.

People without lawful status or who enter the UK for a period of less than six months are subject to charges for secondary NHS treatment. The decision on whether NHS treatment should be provided is for individual NHS trusts to make, however treatment deemed urgent or necessary such as maternity care is never withheld regardless of an individual’s ability to pay charges.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department talks regularly to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on a range of issues.

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