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Home Industry News New system of charging foreigners’ use of NHS services outlined

New system of charging foreigners’ use of NHS services outlined

22nd October 2013

The government has outlined a series of new measures aimed at reducing the amount of money spent on providing NHS care for overseas visitors and migrants.

A new study has been published by the Department of Health that estimates 388 million pounds are spent annually on patients needing healthcare while in England who should be paying for their services, but are often not processed and charged by the NHS.

Meanwhile, between 70 million and 300 million pounds are estimated to be spend on health tourists travelling to England for the purpose of receiving free NHS treatment.

As such, the government plans to introduce a new health surcharge in the Immigration Bill, identify a more efficient system of claiming back costs and implement a simpler registration process to help identify earlier those patients who should be charged, among other measures.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "We are confident our new measures will make the NHS fairer and more sustainable for the British families and taxpayers it was set up to serve."

Responding to the news, the Royal College of GPs raised concern about the implications of implementing these measures, stating that it does not believe anyone should be turned away when in need of care.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801652163-ADNFCR

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