MENU
Immigration/Emmigration

Migrant patients costing Britain four times what they pay into NHS fund through Government’s new charge

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised new charge would ‘help NHS’
But taxpayers are still subsidising the health costs of temporary migrants
They pay the charge so they can fly to Britain to access top treatment
Charge may raise £200 million a year – 0.2 per cent of the NHS budget
By STEPHEN ADAMS, HEALTH CORRESPONDENT FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

The cost of treating temporary migrants on the NHS is four times what is collected from the Government’s much-vaunted new charge, official figures show.
Eighteen months ago Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised the Health Surcharge and other measures would ‘make sure the NHS is better resourced’.
But almost a year after it went live, the bombshell figures reveal British taxpayers are still subsidising the health costs of foreign students and others by hundreds of millions of pounds every year.
Well-placed sources say pregnant women and people with long-term conditions are paying the charge so they can fly to Britain simply to access expensive treatment – legitimately – on the NHS
Well-placed sources say pregnant women and people with long-term conditions are paying the charge so they can fly to Britain simply to access expensive treatment – legitimately – on the NHS


Last night, cancer surgeon J. Meirion Thomas criticised the charge, saying: ‘The introduction of the surcharge was a disastrous error because the unintended consequence has been to encourage health tourism at minimal cost.’
Well-placed sources say pregnant women and people with long-term conditions are paying the charge so they can fly to Britain simply to access expensive treatment – legitimately – on the NHS.
The surcharge is levied on temporary migrants from outside the EU applying to come to the UK for more than six months. The standard charge is £200 per year’s stay; students pay £150. Officials believe it will raise £200 million a year – about 0.2 per cent of the NHS budget.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched the new NHS charge which went live almost a year ago
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched the new NHS charge which went live almost a year ago

But the standard £200 annual charge is less than a sixth of the £1,280 that a British worker on £30,000 puts into the NHS annually through income tax, according to HMRC figures. In a House of Lords debate earlier this month, Home Office Minister Lord Bates said that, on average, migrants paying the £200 levy were costing the NHS ‘just more than £800 per head’ per stay. Their cost to the NHS was ‘more than £500 million per year’, he stated.
Despite their youth, students from outside the EU are scarcely less expensive. They cost ‘just more than £700 per head, with a total gross cost to the NHS of £430 million per year’.
Lord Bates admitted in a letter to fellow peers that the surcharge fees had been ‘set well below the true cost to the NHS of treating temporary migrants’. He wrote: ‘The low level recognises the valuable contribution migrants make, and the need to ensure the UK remains an attractive destination for global talent.’
J. Meirion Thomas said the charge was wide open to abuse, as unlike travel insurance policies, it did not exclude pre-existing conditions. He said: ‘After paying the Health Surcharge, the migrant or student is fully entitled to free NHS care.
‘To signify payment, a “green banner” appears on their computerised NHS record, which guarantees unlimited treatment, even for pre-existing conditions.’
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘We are focused on extending charging to other areas of healthcare, expecting to recover up to £500 million a year by 2018 from visitors using the NHS.’
David Cameron backs charging NHS tourists money (archive)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3446154/Migrant-patients-costing-Britain-four-times-pay-NHS-fund-Government-s-new-charge.html

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Help put the World to rights and leave a Comment

wpDiscuz
MENU
Powered by: Wordpress
%d bloggers like this: