Posted on July 16, 2014

Charges for migrant health services

It has been revealed that patients originating from outside the EU will need to pay 150% of the cost of any care they receive on the NHS. This is part of a crackdown on 'health tourism' and is part of an incentive to encourage hospitals to recover the costs incurred by treating migrants. The aim is for the UK to recoup 100% of the cost of treating both non-EU and EU patients where a charge should be made. It is estimated that there is around £460m-worth of chargeable treatment each year; however, only a small proportion of this is recovered. The present system allows foreign visitors and migrants to receive free treatment on the NHS, but in most cases they should be repaying the cost afterwards. The estimates are based on the standard tariffs for the various procedures. It has been revealed that a number of NHS trusts do not bother to chase these payments because of the time and cost involved. The charges of 150% of the cost of treatment will be applied from next year to those patients who originate from outside the EU and who are not permanent residents of the UK. Those who have been given the right to live in the UK will be able to access free NHS care, but temporary migrants will be required to pay a surcharge when they make applications to remain in or enter the UK. The NHS will be expected to identify the patients who should pay these charges.
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