Public Health Watchdog Warns That Using NHS Data For Immigration Enforcement Could Lead To Epidemics


“If patients have concerns that their personal information, even simple identifiers, could be shared with law enforcement or immigration enforcement agencies for the purposes of pursuing them for actual or alleged breaches of law or immigration rules, then this risks creating a real barrier to their engagement,” the agency warns.

“Any barriers, actual or perceived, to patients accessing healthcare can have serious consequences. In particular this may impact upon asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants or migrant groups legally in the UK who may be distrustful of sharing personal information for fear that it could be accessed by migration enforcement to locate them or their friends and family.”

This emphasises the extension of chilling effects caused by surveillance.