Charging regulations for healthcare – breach of PSED

07.11.14 | |

The High Court has declared that in framing regulations for the charging of treatment provided to overseas visitors the Secretary of State for Health acted in breach of his public sector equality duty under s.149 Equality Act 2010.


The current rules are set out in the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011.  These provide that former asylum seekers accommodated by the Home Office should have free access to health care but that those who are disabled, and as a result are looked after by their local authority, should not.  The court held that while this did not amount to unlawful discrimination, in framing the regulations the Secretary of State had acted unlawfully by failing to have regard to the differential impact on disabled persons.  The Secretary of State has confirmed that the regulations are under review.


A full copy of the judgment in R(Cushnie) v Secretary of State for Health [2014] EWHC 3626 (Admin) is available here. Ben Chataway of chambers acted together with Karon Monaghan QC for Mr Cushnie, instructed by Dan Carey and Adam Hundt of Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors.

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