Unite, the country's largest union with 100,000 members in the health sector, today (Monday) hit out at the government's plans to charge overseas visitors and migrants for using NHS A and E departments and other services.
It said that ministers' plans, due to be finalised in March, raised the spectre of racial segregation.
Unite head of health, Rachael Maskell said: 'We know that if non-EU people cannot access certain services, it increases the risk to the entire population of the spread of disease, including TB, HIV, flu and pneumonia.
'This will happen if people are not treated or have access to vaccinations and other treatments.
'This is introducing racially based segregation - this is a very frightening development in a country that has worked hard to generate integration. We are seeing race now determining if you can get treatment or not. It is to be deplored.'
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.