17 January, 2008
Ama Sumani: update
I'm sorry. It may be harsh, but Government's job is to see the broader picture and act in the best interests of society as a whole. And for once it is doing it.
Mrs Sumani has no entitlement to extended free treatment from the NHS. It is usual and reasonable to offer emergency, usually palliative, treatment to foreigners in the expectation that they will return home for any necessary follow-up treatment.
It may seem harsh but we can barely afford to provide free-at-the-point-of-use treatment to our own population, who pay for it through their taxes and their NI contributions. We simply cannot afford to provide free-forever treatment to those of the whole world population who contrive to reach our shores. If a special case is made for Mrs Sumani on the humanitarian grounds that she cannot afford to pay for treatment at home, then the same generosity will need to be extended to every HIV/AIDS sufferer in the Third World who can scrape up the wherewithall to blag their way into the UK. We are talking tens, hundreds of millions.
Are those who complain about the inhumane treatment of Mrs Sumani prepared to fund that through their taxes?
If the lifeboat is rated for 60 people, and there are 300 floating in the seas around you, there comes a time when you must starting beating away the grasping hands rather then pulling them aboard. Else we all sink.