A stroke left Simba paralysed. He’s being charged £100,000. End charging in the NHS!

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Simba suffered a stroke in June 2019 that left him in a coma and paralysed on his left side. When he woke up, Sheffield Teaching Hospital presented him with a bill for £93,000 for the life saving treatment he had been given. He already had a bill of about £7000 before the stroke. Simba has lived in the UK for most of his life, but because of his immigration status he is being charged for NHS care.

Simba and his family - supported by the local community in Sheffield where he lives - have launched the Justice For Simba Campaign, calling for: his debt to be written off, the Home Office to grant him refugee status, an end to all NHS charging, and for the NHS to treat people based on their medical condition, not their immigration status.

Sign the petition to support Simba and his demands

His story and the launch of the campaign was covered by Channel 4 news - watch it here! More details by Simba himself in the Metro here.


Simba’s Story: 

Simba’s family moved to the UK from Zimbabwe in 2004, accompanying Victor (Simba’s father) when he came to study at university. In 2009 Victor had to apply for asylum after his criticism of Robert Mugabe’s government led to a warrant being issued for his arrest. When Simba turned 18, he applied for asylum himself but - like Victor - his claim was unjustly refused. The family has been fighting for many years to have their right to asylum recognised, but so far only Simba’s older brother has been granted status. 

Simba had trained as a fitness instructor after receiving training and support from a local charity to do so. He had been waiting to submit a fresh claim for asylum, when in June 2019 he suddenly had a devastating stroke, just a month before his 30th birthday. Simba was in a coma for two weeks, and when he woke up he was paralysed on his left side and unable to walk. 

To date, Simba has accrued over £100,000 debt to the NHS and, because of his immigration status, is prevented from working. 

It’s likely Simba would not have had a stroke if he had been able to access the NHS services he needed. He was known to have a blood clotting condition and had been receiving treatment via his GP, who told him that he needed referral to the Haematology Department at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. However, following his first few appointments, Simba got a call from the finance department of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals demanding payment of over £6000 for his treatment. Simba tried to set up an affordable payment plan, but the Trust refused. 

On instruction of the Home Office, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said that Simba would have to pay upfront for his appointments, which meant he could no longer go because he could not afford it. He did not see his specialist team for months, when he suddenly had a stroke and was taken to A&E. Following his admission to intensive care Simba’s was billed a further £93,000 - an amount that he will never be able to pay. He received this £93,000 when bill he was still in stroke rehabilitation unit. 

Simba’s Demands:

The Justice for Simba Campaign - a local community initiative in Sheffield working with communities and groups from across the country - have come together to stand in solidarity with Simba Mujakachi and to call for justice for Simba and all those targeted by the hostile environment. 

We demand that Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust...

  1. cancel all charges for Simba's treatment and care.
  2. provide quality healthcare services to Simba based on his needs.
  3. base all their decisions on Simba's healthcare on medical and his human rights, not economic or immigration status considerations.
    stop charging people for NHS care, stop checking patient’s immigration status, and call on the Government to end all NHS charging. 

We demand that Sheffield City Council...

  1. review and improve the care services delivered to Simba
  2. provide suitable accommodation to Simba which meets his needs
  3. ensure that all those delivering services to and providing care for Simba must provide high quality services suitable to his needs.

We demand that the Home Office...

  1. give Simba full refugee status and allow his mother and brother in Zimbabwe to return to the UK to join the rest of the family so they can all support Simba.
  2. give Simba compensation for the damages, prejudice and injustices he has suffered due to the Hostile Environment policies.
  3. scrap all Hostile Environment policies and legislation to ensure Simba and other migrants don't continue to suffer from injustices, inhumane, discriminatory, racist and degrading treatment.

We demand that the Zimbabwean Embassy...

  1. stops colluding with the Home Office to enforce the Hostile Environment by sharing information about peoples’ immigration statuses and harassing Zimbabweans living in the UK

 

You can also support Simba by donating to his GoFundMe page - raising money to help pay for legal and care support - here!