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Home Industry News UK hospitals to introduce passport checks

UK hospitals to introduce passport checks

13th April 2015

Hospitals in the UK are to begin asking some patients for passport identification in a bid to clamp down on so-called health tourism.

This is the process whereby individuals travel from overseas to access free healthcare on the NHS, which can place strain on the health service's resources, meaning the treatment of UK residents may potentially be compromised.

Currently, people from outside of the UK are expected to repay the cost of any NHS treatment that they receive while in Britain, but the government is now tightening its procedures surrounding the registration of new patients with the NHS, requesting to see passports and immigration documents when in doubt.

These new rules came into force on April 6th, with the Department of Health hoping they will lead to more people paying for treatment, as figures show that health tourism currently costs the health service around 1.9 billion pounds each year.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Roger Goss of Patient Concern commented: "It's a worthwhile price to pay to attempt to recover the tens of millions owed by health tourists. If it is successful, the money recouped could be invested in better care for those patients who are entitled to it for free."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801783338-ADNFCR

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