References

Abubakar I, Zumla A. Universal health coverage for refugees and migrants in the twenty-first century. BMC Med. 2018; 6

Cross-Sudworth F, Williams M, Gardosi J. Perinatal deaths of migrant mothers: Adverse outcomes from unrecognised risks and substandard care factors. Br J Midwifery. 2015; 23:(10)734-740

Feldman R. What Price Safe Motherhood? Charging for NHS Maternity Care in England and its Impact on Migrant Women.London: Maternity Action; 2018

What do you think of charging migrants for primary care?. 2016. http://bit.ly/2NWprVj (accessed 11 July 2019)

Theresa May interview: ‘We're going to give illegal migrants a really hostile reception’. 2017. http://bit.ly/2O8vQNA (accessed 17 July 2019)

Health tourism: Survey suggests GP support for upfront charges. 2015. http://bit.ly/2NYKqXT (accessed 11 July 2019)

NHS Improvement. Overseas patient upfront tariff 2019/2020. 2019. http://bit.ly/2O8whrc (accessed 11 July 2019)

Puthussery S. Perinatal outcomes among migrant mothers in the United Kingdom: Is it a matter of biology, behaviour, policy, social determinants or access to health care?. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2016; 32:39-49

Shahvisi A, Finnerty F. Why it is unethical to charge migrant women for pregnancy care in the National Health Service. J Med Ethics. 2019;

Warnock M. The right to life. Proc R Coll Physicians Edinb. 1996; 26:148-155

Migrants and pregnancy

02 August 2019
2 min read
Volume 27 · Issue 8

Abstract

Although maternity care can never be refused on account of inability to pay, evidence shows charging migrants for NHS care has serious consequences. George F Winter debates whether this is ethical

In 2017 there was a global population of 244 million international migrants, including 22 million refugees. With the inevitable implications for healthcare as a result of mass population movements, Abubakar and Zumla (2018:1) are clear that ‘national governments and international bodies have a responsibility to ensure that, in keeping with their pledged obligations to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, no migrant or refugee is “left behind.”’

When Cross-Sudworth and Williams (2015: 734) investigated the high rate of adverse outcomes in pregnancies of migrant mothers in the West Midlands, they found that many had ‘medical and social risks that are currently not recognised or acted on, which can result in perinatal deaths that are potentially avoidable.’

It is significant that in the same year that Cross-Sudworth and Williams (2015) reported their findings, the immigration health surcharge was introduced in the UK. Feldman (2018: 4) wrote in a report for the charity Maternity Action that, ‘[o]verseas visitors are charged 150% of the normal tariff and Clinical Commissioning Groups and hospitals have a duty to report to the Home Office any patients who owe £500 or more for two months […] Holders of visitor visas and undocumented migrants are the main chargeable groups under current rules.’ This means that, according to the overseas patient upfront price list 2019/2020, a prenatal package can cost £1475–2212, a birth £3024–4536; and a postnatal package £415–623 (NHS Improvement, 2019).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content

  • Monthly email newsletter