Published On: 13th October 2023

On 13 September 2023 Module 4 of the Covid-19 Public Inquiry heard preliminary submissions from state and non-state core participants.

The Public Interest Law Centre is representing the Migrant Primary Care Access Group (MPCAG) which is a collective of organisations that seek to raise the voice and experience of refugees and migrants and their experiences during Covid.

The MPCAG comprises the following organisations Doctors of the World UK; the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants; Medact and Kanlungan. These organisations bring a distinct individual and collective voice to the Inquiry, and hope to engage the migrant and refugee experience.

Module 4 is a distinct part of the Inquiry which seeks to examine the development of Covid-19 vaccines and the implementation of the vaccine rollout programme in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Inquiry intends to focus on lessons learned and preparedness for the next pandemic.

The chilling effect of a decade of anti-migrant rhetoric and the Government’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policy had already left migrants vulnerable, without primary care and in fear of immigration enforcement when accessing services. Only with the assistance of the organisations that make up MPCAG (and other organisations in the migrants’ rights sector) were many migrants able to access vital medication, treatment and vaccination. The impact of immigration enforcement measures during the early stages of the pandemic affected trust and migrants’ willingness to access primary health care and the vaccine. 

Our counsel Sonali Naik KC and Marie Moodie are experience immigration and public law practitioners. Both are based at Garden Court chambers.

Our preliminary contribution can be viewed here from 2 hours 34 minutes.