UK Immigration: No more free NHS for “foreigners” in Britain, this includes “indefinite leave to remain” Visas

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Foreigners who refuse to pay for treatment in NHS hospitals will be banned from Britain under new moves to reduce the £10million a year lost through “health tourism”.

Foreigner is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country this in accordance with Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia definition. Therefore, people with  indefinite leave to remain, foreign students, tourist visitors, experts, etc will no longer receive FREE NHS treatment.

Health bodies will have to take the details of patients from outside Europe and pass them to immigration services to ensure they pay their bills.

Foreigners who run up debts of more than £1,000 will be kicked out of the country if they try to return or extend visas in a restriction of the current “generous” system.

However failed asylum seekers and athletes, officials and journalists attending the London Olympic Games have been guaranteed free hospital care.

Under further options now being considered, foreigners could be charged for visiting a GP or forced to take out health insurance.

The Immigration Minister, Damian Green, said: “The NHS is a national health service, not an international one. If someone does not pay for their treatment we will not let them back into the country.”

Currently, NHS care is free for residents of England but EU residents also qualify for the same treatment.

GPs can register anyone as patient, entitling them to free primary care, but for any treatment apart from A&E hospitals are meant to check eligibility before looking after foreigners and then recover costs from them afterwards.

As a result, only £40m a year is recovered from “visitors”, with “at least a further 25 per cent (over £10m) of charges raised… written off each year”.

According to a Department of Health paper published on Friday: “The widespread availability of high-quality healthcare that is free at the point of access creates a risk that some visitors deliberately access healthcare without paying, known as ‘health tourism’.”

Two separate consultations by the Department of Health and the UK Border Agency agree to implement a tougher regime for foreigners seeking treatment in England.

From October, those who have run up debts of £1,000 or more “will normally be refused” if they apply to return to Britain, try to extend leave to remain or apply for citizenship. It is believed this will cover 94 per cent of the outstanding charges owed to the health service.

The Department of Health agreed that failed asylum seekers, unaccompanied non-resident children and anyone involved in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will not be charged for care.

However it also said that hospitals must collect details of foreign patients so they can be chased for payment, and that they can be passed to the immigration services and the NHS Counter Fraud Service.

A further “fundamental review” of the policy will look at whether British residents could be allowed to spend up to six months a year out of the country, rather than the current three, yet still qualify for free NHS care.

It will also look at “the case for extending current charging principles to primary care” and “additional methods of securing recovery of treatment costs including options for requiring health insurance”.

Anne Milton, the Public Health Minister, said: “These changes will begin the process of developing a clearer, robust and fairer system of access to free NHS services which our review of the charging system will complete.

“I want to see a system which maintains the confidence of the public while preventing inappropriate free access and continuing our commitment to human rights and protecting vulnerable groups.”

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10 Comments

  1. Wesley July 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    Now to bringing up the trade again. How could DA ever know, or aynone including the doctors, that Shaqs injury wasnt healing until realizing so by him coming back, playing and faltering? You berate DA like hes supposed to be some sort of seer and can see into the future. He makes decisions based on what he sees and is told. The assumption was that Shaq would come back and based on that, and his level of superior play with the team when he started, DA made a move that he had to because once again (your almighty God-like, do no wrong, Ubuntu loving center Perk the magnificent refused an offer and we needed bench help after MD was significantly injured and never was able to return all season, so we had no back up to PP. Question did Perk ever dominate Shaq? I think not. Will you please get over the trade and stop talking about it in every post you write? Your one track mind is seriously obscuring some quality posts (like your 2nd post respecting Shaq this season) you make but then you step in it again, and again, and again. Maybe you can get some post-trade counseling or go to hoops rehab and get weaned off of all the trade comments? The trade was in February and I believe well be hearing about it until next February, and beyond. So in the meantime, how about you get us some stats and facts to back up your claims instead of just opinions, which we are all certainly entitled to. Go Cs.the end.

  2. Ida April 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm -  Reply

    Please do not mislead people. Always be mindful with the information sources you use. Mind you, thousands of people access this information, which in my own opnion is very unreliable. If you are unsure please do not report!!!!

    • Zedian Woman April 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm -  Reply

      Hey, those people sticking to the line of misinformation, why not give us some so called realiable data other than hammring Ba UKzambians here. Put your facts, as we know it, even if you have a british passport here, its just a paper if you come from another country because they can still deport you.

  3. Zambian Multi Millionaire March 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    Admin – please do NOT mislead people. I’m not living in denial – I am a British citizen! The same law you have quoted describes “foreigner” or “NHS tourist” for the purposes of that law as “any foreign person who is in the UK for less than 3 months.” Please read the comments of Mumpansah above as the new law only applies to “NHS tourists” not long term visas, permanent residents, etc.

  4. Mumpansah March 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Uk zambians please do not mislead people.This mainly applies to NHS Tourists and not people who are permantly.As for getting your sources from Wiki shows your level of Journalism. Anyone can amend Wiki for your own information.If the NHS starts charging foriegners who live and work here then they NIC contributions will become redundant and the goverment will lose out on £££££££££ as a result.I have noticed that UK ZAMBIANS is a full of Negative Journalism which contravenes what you claim to stand for!

  5. Zambian Multi Millionaire March 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    Please do not mislead people: this does NOT include those with permanent leave to remain, resident permits, long visas, etc!

  6. candy March 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm -  Reply

    bloody hell

  7. aha! March 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm -  Reply

    I wonder if foreigners will still have to pay National Insurance

  8. tall March 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    i think you need to do more research on your aticle before you mislead people Wikipedia is not a law interpretation

  9. sandsexsand March 20, 2011 at 8:52 am -  Reply

    This is crazy law, what about those on long term illness like HIV, diabetes, heart diseases?

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