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Right - or wrong?

Betsan Powys | 13:07 UK time, Tuesday, 20 May 2008

pledge3.jpgDo the Conservatives support Edwina Hart's move to give failed asylum seekers free healthcare or not?

You tell me.

Jonathan Morgan, the Shadow Health Spokesperson, has put out a press release saying this:

"In emergency cases where urgent medical attention is required, of course the NHS should be there for people. Primary care should also be available to a point where someone falls ill.

"However, we are firmly against the policy of allowing 'health tourism' to flourish. Those who are not supposed to be in this country should not be entitled to the benefits that citizenship of Great Britain affords, including elective treatment and surgery.

"The NHS in Wales already has huge challenges facing it. The very last thing we should do is stretch the capacity of the service so that just about anyone in the world can use it.

"The fact that the NHS in England is taking legal action to prevent such abuses, and that the Welsh Assembly Government seems happy to allow those abuses in Wales, will only place more strain on the service."

On balance I'd say that's a no.

Jonathan Evans MEP, Prospective Parliamentary Candiadate for Cardiff North at the next General Election is taking the same line.

But didn't their Welsh Party leader, Nick Bourne, sign up to the 'We'll keep a welcome" campaign before last year's Assembly Elections? In fact weren't all four party leaders united in their support for it?

And didn't pledge number 3: Provide fair and equal access to services come with a helpful briefing for those who signed up to it, a briefing that included this line:

"In signing our pledge cards, candidates commit to giving asylum seekers whose claims have been refused exemption from charges for treatment by the National Health Service Trusts."

It did.

So did Nick Bourne sign up to the pledge card?

The photograph, on this occasion, seems to say it all.


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