The Experiences Of (Failed) Asylum Seekers In UK

Read Complete Research Material



The Experiences Of (Failed) Asylum Seekers In UK


We live in a globalised society and population movement is an integral part of this. Although the UK has increasing levels of inward migration, asylum seekers make up only a small proportion. Out of 500,000 migrants to the UK in 2007, only 23,430 were applications for asylum (falling from a peak of 84,000 in 2002).

There are many reasons why people choose to seek asylum, including fleeing from armed conflict, political and social unrest, persecution and sometimes exploitation in their country of origin.

Asylum seekers are one of the most vulnerable groups within our society, with often complex health and social care needs. Within this group are individuals more vulnerable still, including pregnant women, unaccompanied children and people with significant mental ill-health.

The UK government is a signatory to a number of international and national laws and covenants, committing them to human rights legislation (see Policy Context p.7) which also covers those seeking asylum. Reducing inequalities, and health inequalities, is a government priority, and strategies must therefore also include action to address the needs of asylum seekers.

Health services have a duty to serve the needs of the local population, including asylum seekers (who have, on the whole, the right to free primary and secondary healthcare). However, there are restrictions on access to various types of support for different groups of asylum seekers (see Entitlements for Asylum Seekers, p.3), with implications not only for those affected, but also for those services dealing with them..

The increasing refugee [throughout this report, the term "refugee" is used to denote "refugee and asylum seeker"] population in the UK has led to increased research and debate about their health and social needs . Most studies have been based on health professionals' views of how refugees should be managed and the problems encountered by these professionals when dealing with them. They have exposed how healthcare for refugees is patchy and often inappropriate with inequalities in relation to access adversely affecting refugee health . Refugees are perceived by general practitioners (GPs) to have multiple needs that are difficult to fulfil and as a result some are even refused registration . To help the situation non-governmental organisations have set up clinics in certain areas for vulnerable migrants who have difficulty accessing primary care, but there are concerns over their ability to provide continuity to care, refer to secondary care and their use of local resources such as GPs and nurses (Victor, 1997,, 398)(Dwyer, 2005,, 622).

Government legislation has often hindered efforts to improve the refugee health situation. Denying failed asylum seekers access to free secondary care and proposals to extend this to non-urgent primary care have been labelled unethical and put greater pressure on already overburdened A&E services . Active re-location of refugees away from points of arrival in South East England has been associated with increased rates of temporary GP registration and therefore removes any financial incentive for GPs to perform immunisation and cervical smear tests in this ...
Related Ads