Sheffield Greens back Vaccines for All campaign

Sheffield Green Party has backed a campaign calling to ensure Covid-19 vaccines reach as many people as possible.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:45 pm

Vaccines for All emerged alongside wider work around ensuring universal access to health care and it aims to protect those who are concerned about the NHS sharing their data with the Home Office, which could lead to immigration checks, detention or even deportation.

Councillor Alexi Dimond, representative for Gleadless Valley said: “Sheffield Green Party are proud to be a signatory to the demands put together by Patients Not Passports Campaign Network.

“A health worker’s duty is to care for their patients, not to act as border guards. The UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world; so the denial of healthcare to anyone is a political choice. Healthcare must be available to all, free at the point of need.

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“The Hostile Environment has a devastating impact on peoples’ health and the NHS itself, as treatment is often delayed until there is acute need, or worse.”

Councillor Maroof Raouf, representative for Nether Edge and Sharrow added: “Sheffielders would be shocked at the trauma inflicted by the hostile environment, which discourages people from accessing healthcare. Helping everyone get vaccinated against Covid-19 keeps us all safe. The ‘Vaccines for All’ campaign sets out how to do that. Hopefully the Department of Health and Social Care will follow their lead.”

They called on the DHSC to guarantee a firewall that prevents any patient information gathered by the NHS or Test and Trace being used for immigration enforcement, end all hostile environment measures in the NHS including charging for migrants, provide specific support to all GP surgeries to register everyone including undocumented and under-documented migrants and those without secure accommodation and fund a public information campaign to ensure communities impacted by the hostile environment are aware of their right to access the vaccine.

Earlier this year, Neil Calderwood, a junior doctor based at Northern General, attended a meeting of the council’s adult social care scrutiny committee on behalf of Medact Sheffield to ask the council to back Vaccines for All.

Councillor Cate McDonald, chair of the committee, said she would raise it with the leader of the council.