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Home Industry News NHS access restrictions for expats ‘could be eased next year’

NHS access restrictions for expats ‘could be eased next year’

14th August 2009

The NHS has announced that restrictions on access to the services that currently apply to expats residing outside of the European Economic Area are set to be eased in 2010.

As part of new proposals, the amount of time Britons newly-residing in countries such as the US, Canada, Africa and New Zealand will be entitled to free NHS access is to be extended, the Telegraph reports.

At the present time, expats living outside of the EEA for longer than three months have to pay for the services of the NHS. If the new plans are implemented, a six-month eligibility period will be introduced “as soon as possible in 2010”.

The newspaper quotes a spokesperson for the Department of Health as stating: “The idea is to make things equal and fair for everyone while tidying up the anomalies.”

Current regulations were introduced in 2004 by former health secretary John Reid.

In other NHS news this week, Gordon Brown, his wife Sarah and professor Stephen Hawking spoke out in defence of the service after it was termed “Orwellian” by the US’ right-wing establishment.

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