Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Asylum Seekers and Free Health Care in Wales

I don't share the view that politicians should be approached with cynicism. It was shown today in Wales that the likes of Edwina Hart can make controversial decisions because they are right.

Well done I say to Edwina Hart who was brave enough today to grant unsuccessful asylum seekers the right to have free health care in Wales. It would have been so easy for her to hide behind the legal challenges that are being pursued by the UK Government.

I did several BBC interviews this morning and feel terribly sad that helping a small number of vulnerable individuals who may be unwell on our doorstep proved to be such a controversial issue and the source not of legitimate care - that's OK - but blatant bigotry.

The Welsh media are brilliant at holding the conversations of the public square in Wales. They have my fullest support and gratitude. I wasn't sure today if people who are unwell - even suffering from cancer - should be brought out to question the policy.

Today's issue wasn't about one group of unwell people competing with another group. The asylum seekers involved simply aren't that numerous to make a difference.


Anonymous said...

I remain staggered by people who are of the opinion that reasonable health care should be something reserved for a select group, as if one's place of birth was a matter of choice. We should count it a privilege to care for the sick, because it shows how abundantly blessed we are, that they should come to us.

Aled Edwards said...

Hi Mark - good to hear from you and thanks for the comments. As you will see from my blog I have been busy for a while - behaving badly.