Entitlement to hospital treatment in the NHS.
In 1977 powers to charge those not 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for NHS care were first introduced, and rules governing eligibility for free NHS care have become increasingly complex since. In this issue (p. 156), Dubrey et al present an interpretation of the current regulations and express concern that the treatment of ineligible patients presents a threat to the UK health system. Here we suggest the opposite: increasing attempts to restrict the access of vulnerable humans to health care present a threat both to individual and public health. We challenge all clinicians to provide immediately necessary care and to protect public health.
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