Amnesty welcomes access to hospitals for asylum seekers in Wales

Changes to regulations announced by Edwina Hart, the Health Minister last month enabling asylum seekers whose case has failed access to hospitals in Wales will come into force on July 15th.

Amnesty International worked with a coalition in Wales to press for these changes ahead of the 2007 Assembly elections as part of its Keep a Welcome campaign, and very much welcomes the impact it will have upon people previously denied proper access to healthcare in Wales.

Cathy Owens, Programme-Director Amnesty International Wales said,

“There are some people who seek safety here in Wales whose case is ultimately not successful, but for many reasons it is impossible for them to return home. Treating these people with respect is a mark of a humane society. If they become sick, are suffering from a long-term illness, or are pregnant, then we should not turn them away from Welsh hospitals."

"We applaud this bold move, that will so positively impact upon human rights here in Wales."

Amnesty International Wales media information:

For more information about the Keep a Welcome Campaign, visit www.keepawelcome.co.uk

Cathy Owens: 02920786415, cathy.owens@amnesty.org.uk 07738718638

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