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Home Industry News New charging plans for migrant NHS patients unveiled

New charging plans for migrant NHS patients unveiled

15th July 2014

The government has announced plans to charge migrants and visitors to the UK for NHS care as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce and recover costs.

Under the Department of Health proposals, visitors from outside Europe using the NHS will be charged 150 percent of the cost of treatment.

Meanwhile, temporary migrants from outside the EEA who are here for longer than six months will be subject to a new health surcharge, which will be applied when they submit an application for leave to enter or remain in the UK.

The overall aim will be for the NHS to recover up to 500 million pounds a year from treating foreign visitors and migrants by the middle of the next parliament. Financial sanctions will be put in place for trusts that fail to identify and bill chargeable patients.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "We have no problem with international visitors using the NHS as long as they pay for it – just as British families do through their taxes."

The British Medical Association has expressed concern over some details of the plans, stating that the proposal for hospital sanctions are overly punitive, while suggesting the new laws could create additional bureaucracy and possibly impact care quality.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801735444-ADNFCR

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