Equality in the NHS

June 19th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

The BNP are making wild inaccurate claims again. Apparently travellers of various sorts are treated much better than British people…

At least half of all Gypsies and Travellers in Britain are Romany in origin and are officially placed above indigenous British people in a range of National Health Services, according to an official guideline.

The shocking anti-British document emerged in the wake of anti-Gypsy violence in Belfast following months of criminal activity by the Romanian Gypsy community which drove local people to the breaking point

So in the wake of anti Gipsy violence, because they’re all thieves, naturally *rolls eyes*, the BNP are helping to keep the sentiment going.

The BNP site quotes an NHS pamphlet, Primary Care Services Framework: Gypsies & Travellers, which they also shoot there own foot with by providing to a link to a copy they host, and they start off with…

states that many of these “Roma Communities” are recent arrivals, and “possibly comprise half of all Gypsies and Travellers” in England.

According to the NHS, there are up to 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers in Britain in total, which means that there are possibly 150,000 Romany Gypsies living here.

This is indeed nearly true. The pamphlet does say that half of the Gypsies and Travellers in Britain are possibly Roma Gipsies. The 300,000 figure is also mentioned but only as an upper figure for how many travellers and Gypsies are in Britain. That figure might also be as low as 120,000. Nobody really knows any better than that because the 2001 census didn’t count Travellers & Gypsies as a separate ethnic grouping. Which obviously means that the amount of Roma Gipsies could be as low as 60,000.

Under race relations legislation, Romany Gypsies are defined as minority ethnic groups and this forces the NHS to consider their “needs and circumstances” when meeting their general and specific duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.

Just like any other ethnic minority. As it should be.

Along come some bullet points. Makes it nice and simple for the knuckle-draggers…

In practice, the NHS document says, this means the following:

* Gypsies must be “fast tracked” when being provided with NHS services. This means they must be seen before any other patients, even if the indigenous patients have been there earlier or have prior appointments;

There is a recommendation that there should be a policy of not turning away a Traveller or Gypsie that attends a GP without an appointment. There is not a compulsion to, and it certainly doesn’t mean they must be seen straight away before anybody else. In reality, the Traveller could be left to wait until the end of the day.

Doctors have been told to see any Gypsy who walks into a surgery, even if all consultation times for the day are full

What the guidelines incourage, is for the local surgery to register Gypsies and Travellers that are local, on various sites and not to de-register them so quickly, so that a better health record can be built up. The pamphlet also says that when the surgery has got the trust of the Traveller that they will travel a considerable distance to see their doctor. The whole point of this exercise with the NHS is because Gypsies and Travellers do not visit the doctor very often and to try and change that so that the standard of health of these people improves from being the lowest of the English speaking ethnic minorities. The chances of a Gypsie walking in to any surgery is, I would say, pretty slim.

Gypsies are also to be fast tracked for nurses and dental appointments

The pamphlet says nothing about dental and nurse appointments. The BNP have split these types of care from the word ‘surgery’ used in the pamphlet, to mean all types of treatment that is non-emergency type of health problem including visits to the dentist and nurse.

Gypsies must be given 20 minute consultations (in comparison to native British peoples’ five or ten minutes) and must be allowed to bring relatives into the consulting rooms

Again, there is that word ‘must’. Nowhere in this document does it say ‘must’ (except for one instance where the document talks about when a surgery must de-register a patient. Page 28). Practices should give longer consultations. That is generally because the Travellers will ask for another family member to be seen. This request should be accepted within reason.
This is a Good Thing as it enables the doctor to “improve the screening status of potentially vulnerable patients”.

NHS staff are given “mandatory cultural awareness” training so they can fully understand what it is like to be a Traveller or Gypsy

OK. The Nazis have really got in a mix with this one. From the pamphlet…

PCTs’ with Gypsy and Traveller communities should consider including cultural awareness training as part of their regular mandatory training for all new and existing staff.

Still no compulsion. In the mandatory training that everyone gets, cultural awareness training should be considered. It doesn’t even say it should be included. It should just be considered.

The BNP then go on a little rant…

The NHS document tries to justify this blatant anti-British policy by claiming that Gypsies suffer from greater health problems than indigenous British people.

… and quote from the pamphlet about the poor the health is of Gypsies and Travellers but offer no rebuttal of any type to back up their implied claim that the Travelling community don’t suffer greater health problems that ‘true Brits’.

And they finish off with…

The implication of the document is that Primary Care Trusts will be breaking the Human Rights Act and the Race Relations Act of 2000 if they do not discriminate against British people in the ways suggested.

I suppose if you’re paranoid in that way, it could. But the whole tone of the guidelines is just that, a guide. A guide to help make it easier to make an unhealthy section of society healthier.

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