Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Lib Dems attack UKIP over HIV comments

Jane Dodds
Image caption Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds questioned the practicalities of denying migrants treatment

A Welsh Liberal Democrat election candidate has accused UKIP of wanting "border security guards" at hospitals.

It follows UKIP leader Nigel Farage's comments on migrants using the NHS for HIV treatment costing £25,000 per year.

On the Daily Politics Wales Election Debate on Thursday, Lib Dem Jane Dodds said UKIP lacked "care and compassion" on such healthcare issues.

UKIP's Caroline Jones said Ms Dodds was "taking things to extremes" but claimed people were "fed up to the back teeth".

Ms Jones told the programme that she understood Mr Farage's comments that the NHS was treating too many people from abroad with HIV.

She said: "Is it fair when you've got a small pot of money to allow someone to come in who has never contributed to that pot, and have someone from your family or your constituency to be denied medication and treatment?

"That is constantly happening."

But Ms Dodds said everybody should have fair treatment, asking "Do you want border security guards on hospitals?

"Do you want GPs' surgeries to have lines that say 'do not cross here unless you've paid into the system for five years'?

"Where is the care and compassion here?"

Image caption Representatives of five political parties debated election issues in Carmarthen

Plaid Cymru's Carrie Harper said debate about immigration should not be taboo as it was an issue that voters wanted to discuss.

"But this type of scaremongering and the blaming immigrants for everything rhetoric is very unhelpful to the debate," she added.

"The economic problems facing people in our communities have been caused by the reckless behaviour of bankers in the City, and they've been caused by the austerity agenda of the London parties."

For Labour, Nick Thomas-Symonds said the NHS would not be able to function without migrant workers.

"The National Health Service is the greatest achievement of any post-War government," he said.

"There is no doubt at all factually that without migrant workers working in it, you wouldn't have an NHS in 2015."

For the Conservatives, Emma Lane said immigration had been beneficial to the UK.

"Immigration can and has benefited our country but it must be managed," she said.

"We need to control immigration so the pressure doesn't continue on public services".

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