A fundraising page set up for a man who has been refused cancer treatment unless he can prove his immigration status has raised over £12,000 in just two days.
The man, who is known as Albert Thompson to protect his identity, was told that unless he can prove he is legally entitled to live in the UK he will have to pay £54,000 for his prostate cancer treatment upfront.
The 63-year-old arrived in the UK in 1973 from Jamaica when hew was a teenager and has lived here ever since, paying taxes for the past 44 years while working as a mechanic.
He has never applied for a British passport because he thought he had no need to, while the Jamaican passport he arrived with has been lost for many years.
Theresa May refused to intervene in the case when told about it during a recent PMQs, stating that the decision was down to the Royal Marsden hospital.
She wrote in a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, who raised the issue in the House of Commons: ‘No urgent treatment should ever be withheld or delayed by the NHS regardless of ability of willingness to pay…
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‘The decision on whether his treatment is urgent or immediately necessary must rightly be made by the clinicians treating him.’
She added that Mr Thompson must ‘evidence his settled status’.
Jacqueline Culleton organised a petition demanding the Home Office deal with Mr Thompson’s status that pulled in over 200,000 signatures.
However, after the Prime Minister refused to intervene, Ms Culleton set up the GoFundMe page to raise the £54,000 needed to pay for the treatment.
She wrote on the page: ‘This is part of a much wider issue, of people who originally came from Commonwealth countries now not being recognised as legal citizens – despite living in our country for many, many years and contributing in the same way we do.
‘Let’s stand up for their rights – and stand up to the increasingly harsh landscape that the Home Office is creating for innocent people that are relying on their country’s support at the hardest times in their lives.’
The @ukhomeoffice hasn’t responded to the 150k signatures on my Albert Thompson petition, leaving him still without cancer treatment. We shouldn’t have to raise the £54k ourselves, but we must – donate here: https://t.co/S7LaoHIMsi #actionforalbert
— Jacqueline Culleton (@quiline) April 3, 2018
Mr Thompson’s case comes after regulations were brought in last year that requires hospitals to check patients’ passports and proof of address, charging people upfront unless they can prove documentary evidence or if the treatment is urgent.
The Royal Marsden said that Mr Thompson’s radiotherapy was not urgent, while a spokesperson added: ‘It is disappointing that NHS staff, who are committed to public service, should be criticised for being professional and fair in applying the principles required of them on eligibility.’