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Windrush: Man loses legal fight over cancer care payment

HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT: The NHS payment policy for individuals who cannot prove their right to remain has been heavily criticised by campaigners

A MAN who is a member of the Windrush Generation and was denied cancer treatment on the NHS after residing in the UK for over 40 years has lost his high court challenge against the government.

The man, who has not been named, had been seeking a judicial review of the NHS policy that requires patients to pay for their treatment upfront if they are unable to prove their right to live in the UK and access healthcare free of charge, The Independent reported.

High court judge Justice Lewis said the government was not required by law to hold a public consultation prior to the introduction of the NHS regulations or to hold records on individuals who were eligible to be charged.

Lewis added that the government had not breached the equality laws or the National Health Service Act 2006.

The unnamed man, who is in his late 50s, came to the UK form St Lucia with his family when he was 14 years old.

In 2015, around the same time that he discovered he had a rare form of incurable blood cancer, he was denied the right to remain in the UK, The Independent reported.

Because of his immigration status, he was not entitled to free NHS treatment and the hospital trust where he sought to have chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, informed him he would not be treated until he paid.

After the claimant’s lawyers got in contact with the hospital trust, his treatment was resumed. He continues to receive treatment but is still not entitled to free care The Independent reported.

The Guardian reported that Lewis said the claimant was understood to be given indefinite leave to remain before the year's end, meaning he would be entitled to free NHS treatment in future.

The NHS policy which requires patients to pay first if they cannot prove their right to free medical treatment has been heavily criticised by campaigners for the role it has played in bolstering the government’s hostile environment strategy.

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