British vaccination against foreign medical workers
At the end of last year, the United Kingdom took the lead in the world’s new crown vaccination work. However, the guardian recently disclosed that some British hospitals have received guidelines from the national immunization system (NIVs), requiring that they can only vaccinate the registered NHS doctors and nurses with NHS numbers, which means that many foreign doctors and nurses working in the front line are unable to get injections. Some people are also told that they need to carry passports After that, NHS clarified that NHS doctors and nurses can get vaccinations free of charge, regardless of whether they have an NHS number or not.
The Guardian reported that the NHS has been using the NIVs system to register the vaccination status of doctors and nurses. However, if doctors and nurses do not have the NHS number, they will not be able to upload or update the vaccination status in the system. The NIVs guidance document disclosed in the report shows that hospitals should not vaccinate any foreign doctors and nurses without the NHS number except those from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Hospital self built system to ensure all medical care
Some doctors and nurses said that they were deeply dissatisfied with the new guidelines, and their hospitals set up their own registration system to allow all doctors and nurses to have injections. However, the hospital soon received suggestions from the authorities to follow the NIVs guidelines. In addition to foreign doctors and nurses, many ethnic minorities who work as cleaners, porters and security guards in hospitals are also unable to have injections because they have no citizenship or NHS number.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF), a non-profit organization, also revealed that many immigrants reported that they had received e-mail and required to bring their passport and other identification documents to vaccinate, otherwise they would be charged. A person vaccinated at Peterborough hospital in the UK also said that when she received the second dose of vaccine, the medical staff told her that she needed to provide the NHS number, and the hospital could only provide NHS number for the person who had the number to make an injection.
People need to prove that they have the right to free vaccination
The vaccinator also pointed out that she had received guidance from the hospital, stressing that the NHS trust has the obligation to collect treatment fees from foreigners to recover medical costs, while patients need to prove that they “have the right to receive free medical services”. She is deeply concerned that many immigrants are at high risk of infection, but they are excluded from the medical system so that they can not receive injections.
Harrison, a domestic affairs official of the British Federation of trade unions, criticized that it is a “shameful rule” not to be vaccinated without the NHS number, and called on the government to deal with it immediately. A spokesman for the UK Department of Health said that the NHS number is not a prerequisite for vaccination, and the UK government will strengthen cooperation with all parties to ensure that all adult residents living in the UK are provided with vaccines free of charge.