Nasar Ullah Khan has been living in the UK for nine years and is suffering from a serious heart condition which deteriorated into a terminal illness, but was told he is not eligible for a potentially life-saving transplant because he does not have leave to remain in the country.
The Pakistani citizen has now launched a fundraising appeal to help his wife and two young sons visit him before he dies, but their visas are still being processed and the family believes it is unlikely they will be granted in time.
Responding to Mr Khan’s case, Chai Patel, legal policy director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), said the NHS was being “undermined” by the hostile environment created for immigrants.
“The new rules on charging people for medical treatment are so complicated that we have doctors and nurses scratching their heads trying to make sense of complex immigration law, when they should be treating the patient in front of them,” he added.
“We cannot ask NHS staff to take on the burden of immigration officials, when they need to concentrate on saving lives.”
Mr Khan is one of hundreds of patients who have been denied treatment for serious health problems after ministers forced the NHS to impose upfront charges on migrants deemed ineligible for free healthcare.
The requirement formed part of the hostile environment policies introduced by Theresa May when she was home secretary, which constitute a set of administrative and legislative measures designed to make staying in the UK as difficult as possible for people without leave to remain.
But the policy has come under fire in the past year after the Windrush scandal revealed thousands of Commonwealth citizens had been wrongly targeted by immigration officials, with some detained and deported.
The Home Office has been contacted for comment.