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Home Industry News NHS offers “clearer” guidance to access for foreign nationals

NHS offers “clearer” guidance to access for foreign nationals

21st July 2009

The government has agreed on a number of proposals that will offer a “clearer and fairer” system of access to the NHS for foreign nationals, it has been announced.

Health minister Ann Keen explained that a review group, made up of representatives from the Department of Health and the Home Office, has issued its findings in an examination of access to the NHS by such individuals.

Launched in 2007, the study looked at the rules on making non-UK residents pay for access to NHS services in England.

It has been determined that there should be no significant changes for primary or secondary care.

The proposals, which will be subject to a consultation in the autumn, include exempting unaccompanied children from charges and an agreement that UK residents may be out of the country for as long as six months in a year before being considered for NHS charges.

Ms Keen, who is the Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth, said: “These changes will support a clearer and fairer system of access to free NHS services that will maintain the confidence of the public and prevent inappropriate access.”

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