Bespoke GPs, dentists and NHS plans for 1,500 migrants
England's first asylum camp is set to be equipped with their own dedicated GPs and dentists under new NHS plans.
Dubbed Guantanamo on Ouse, the 1,500 migrants aged 18 to 40 will be housed on a former RAF base in Linton-on-Ouse in north Yorkshire.
Asylum seekers will have access to a "bespoke" health service, including chemists and opticians, alongside GPs and dentists.
Campaigners against the camp condemn the move, outlining how the services provided to asylum seekers are overwhelmingly better than those offered to residents of Linton-on-Ouse.
Residents of the north Yorkshire village currently face a hefty waiting list for mental health service, and have to travel four miles away to access basic GP services.
The plans, outlined in documents from the Vale of York's clinical commissioning group (CCG), said the specialist on-site health services were necessary to prevent the "fragile" existing NHS provision in the area from crumbling.
The camp on the converted RAF base will accommodate 1,500 men aged 18 to 40, despite mounting opposition from villagers who claim they will be inundated with asylum seekers.
60 men were set to be transported to the camp at the end of May, but the Home Office pulled the decision, saying no final ruling had been made,on whether to move asylum seekers there.
Despite opposition, the paper from the governing board of the CCG outlines its plans to build a "bespoke, standalone enhanced primary care service for the asylum seeker population” and confirmed planning work is continuing despite the delay.
Facilities at the site will include GPs, pharmacies, dental and optometry services.
The three GP practices in nearby Tollerton cater for over 3,500 patients, the CCG said it would not be “realistically achievable” to cater for 3,000 migrants a year, based on each cohort of 1,500 spending six months at the camp.
The governing body said, along with Serco its health provider, it was "aiming to be ready at the end of June 2022".
Professor Olga Matthias, one of the campaigners against the plans, said: “They are now supposedly going to be getting a GP service, dental service and mental health support that doesn’t exist in North Yorkshire at an adequate service level.”
Due to the absence of an NHS dentist in the surrounding area of the camp, and with a private practice being seven miles away, it was thought appropriate to provide ample services.