Simba Mujakachi says government’s ‘hostile environment’ policies deterred him from taking medication
Simba Mujakachi, a personal trainer, was just 29 years old in June 2019 when he suffered a catastrophic stroke that left him comatose. When he awoke, he was paralysed on his left side and unable to talk or eat.
His stroke could have been prevented by relatively inexpensive medication for a blood clotting condition that, as a refused asylum seeker, he was not entitled to on the NHS.
Now Mujakachi, who has lived in the UK since he was a child, owes nearly £100,000 for the emergency treatment that saved his life, a staggering sum which he does not know how he will ever repay.
“No one can pay £100,000, who has got that? I’m looking at the bill and I’m thinking, that’s a house,” he said.
On 18th September, the Justice for Simba campaign are hosting a carnival of resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS, taking place in Sheffield. Join us to take action in solidarity against racist immigration policies in healthcare – wherever you are!
Meet at 2pm, Devonshire Green! There will be music, dancing, speeches, and a spirit of solidarity and resistance to hostile and cruel immigration policies! We will then hand in Simba’s petition to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
👉🏾 Here’s what you need to do! 👈🏾 ⭐️ Sign and share Simba’s petition on your social media and with your friends and colleagues – we want to hit 70,000 signatures to hand in! http://change.org/justiceforsimba ⭐️ Spread the word https://linktr.ee/JusticeForSimba ⭐️ Print and share Simba’s poster! So we can share pics on the day https://tinyurl.com/SimbaPosters
Our friend Simba has been charged over £100,000 for his life-saving treatment following a stroke — all because of his immigration status. Two years on, Simba is fighting for his recovery but Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is still chasing him for payment.
The impact of having their lives put on hold is devastating for refugee friends
This week the Independent published a special report looking at the lives of people seeking asylum, who are forced to live in limbo. As they spend years waiting on a decision to be made on their asylum claim, they live in great uncertainty, banned from working, and at risk of exploitation and abuse. These stories echo the harrowing experiences of the friends of JRS who are battling this hostile system, which is founded on suspicion. As they desperately seek to be recognised as refugees, they struggle to survive.
Data shows over 1,200 people seeking asylum currently in the system, have waited more than five years, with 399 more than a decade.
Updated 3 August 2021: ZeroCovidNow@ZeroCovidNow1: Undocumented migrants have faced exceptionally harsh conditions throughout this pandemic while being invisible to much of the media and political class. Hear from one undocumented mother, with a young child, about the challenges of the pandemic. #ZeroCovid#StatusNow
30 July 2021: Guardian: Home Office failed to put in place system to protect detainees with HIV
High court judge issues ruling after man was denied antiretroviral medication for four days
The Home Office failed to put in place systems to protect detainees with HIV, a high court judge has ruled, after a man was denied lifesaving medication for four days.
The landmark ruling found that in failing to adequately care for people with HIV the Home Office breached article 3 of the European convention of human rights, which protects against inhuman and degrading treatment.
19th July 2021: PRESS RELEASE: Rising Calls for Health and Safety 4 ALL Debate in Parliament today coincides with simultaneous demonstrations
“As a health worker, I must be enabled to do my job to the best of my ability, not be confronted with this abuse and distress and trauma and expected to keep on working, keep on raising my children safety, while my man is threatened with this great danger”. Front Line Nurse, Daisy Motlogwa
“It is incredible that we let unknown numbers of people languish without documentation, forced into the “unofficial” economy or worse. People who can work, want to work and pay taxes should be brought into the mainstream.” Tony Lloyd MP for Rochdale
Status Now Network welcomes the support of this informal coalition of MPs who stand with us in our campaign for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain/settled status:
Motion text: That this House believes that access to essential healthcare is a universal human right; regrets the continued existence of structural, institutional and systemic barriers in accessing NHS care experienced by undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications; considers that an effective public health response to the covid-19 crisis requires that the most vulnerable can afford to access food, healthcare, and self-isolate where necessary; understands that some of the most vulnerable people in society will not access vaccination against the virus, since to disclose their identity to the authorities would risk their arrest, detention and deportation; fears that without urgent Government intervention this will lead to further avoidable premature deaths, especially in the African, Asian and Minority Ethnic population; and therefore calls on the Home Office to grant everyone currently in the UK at this time who are undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications indefinite leave to remain, and to be eligible in due course to receive the covid-19 vaccination.
Among the survey findings, 80% of respondents were worried about their financial situation during the pandemic, and about being able to afford food and other items that they might need. In addition, half of all respondents said they were unable to afford hand sanitiser, face masks, soap or cleaning products.
The Building Resilience project provided spaces for migrants with limited immigration status and no recourse to public funds to discuss shared experiences throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and form networks of solidarity.
‘Networks of resilience are important and meaningful. And for as long as the UK’s hostile environment remains in place, individuals from the most marginalised and isolated communities who make up networks of resilience will be compelled to continue to find ways to release and build resiliences through which they search out pathways to status and better access to basic rights.’
New automatic extractions of data from GP-held patient records, due to come into force in early summer, are ‘far bigger’ and ‘more intrusive’ than care.data, GP privacy campaigners have warned.
NHS Digital announced earlier this month that it will be rolling out a ‘new and improved’ GP data collection system from 1 July called General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR), with patients wanting to opt out having to do so by 23 June.
8 February 2021: STOP PRESS: Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reportedVaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work
The virus cannot be effectively tackled and people cannot be kept safe until everyone currently in the UK has equal access to housing, healthcare, food, and any vaccine, and therefore equal status
Addressing the question of people’s Status in the UK is the primary need
Many people who are undocumented believe that they will be reported to the immigration authorities and/or subjected to the Hostile Environment if they come forward, and therefore this policy is doomed to failure
Once Government commits to Status Now 4 All, everyone currently undocumented is going to be able to come forward
This is the right time for a full regularisation – if not now – when?
A data analytics team close to the heart of government has collected data on more than 650 million people, including children under the age of 13, according to newly unearthed documents.
The Data Services & Analytics unit is described as “one of the most advanced data analytics centres in government” and forms part of the Home Office’s Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) department. It builds decision-making tools and provides data-driven insights to the rest of the Home Office – although details of exactly what it does remain tightly guarded.
Most vaccines are being distributed through family doctors (GPs). But many undocumented migrants are afraid to register with their local GP over fears their details will be shared with the Home Office.
Health Minister Ed Argar previously told radio station LBC that the government was not going to “chase up” the immigration status of anyone getting a shot.
But on Friday, Labour party MP Sarah Owen and Conservative peer Lord Sheikh asked what “proactive” action was being taken to ensure the country’s 1.2 million undocumented migrants are not missed in the vaccine rollout, in a letter to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi.