Government to Clampdown on Health Tourism
GOVERNMENT TO CLAMPDOWN ON HEALTH TOURISM – The Government has announced new measures in order to prevent foreigners abusing the NHS by charging for emergency treatment.
In a recent report the NHS noted that foreigners coming to Britain and using the NHS cost the taxpayer over £2 billion a year and a growing number of these traveled specifically to access free treatment.
The new plan will now see migrants having to pay between £20 and £100 for a consultation at A&E departments in addition to paying for the treatment they receive.
Ministers have acknowledge that the NHS has become, for a growing number of foreigners, an ‘international health service’ which can be obtained for free; such a notion is not only adding to the cost of running the NHS but is restricting British citizens from obtaining the health care they are rightfully entitled to receive.
Meebal.com says …
We have a humanitarian responsibility to help those in need and none more so when it comes to healing the sick.
The issue here is unfortunately one of on-going abuse for a growing number of foreigners feel it is acceptable to visit the UK with the sole intent of using the NHS without paying.
The NHS is not a free health care system; each and every working person pays tax in order to keep the system operational and it is not acceptable to allow others to take advantage of the system and indeed abuse it.
In the NHS reported some 300 heavily pregnant women flew to the UK in the past 2 years alone with the sole intent of being able to use NHS hospitals to give birth.
An interesting aspect of this issue is that Ministers have ruled out making overseas patients pay to see a GP after doctors raised concerns that such a measure could have an undesirable impact on public health.
Despite foreigners being able to access a GP for free they will however be required to pay for any follow-up procedures and prescriptions; all hospital care a person needs will also require payment.
The clampdown, or new plan if you will, does have a number of flaws as senior doctors are worried that the new system will cause confusion among staff and patients as the Government has failed to detail exactly how it intends to collect payment from foreigners seeking and receiving care.
Another issue is that some British patients might be wrongly billed if they are unable to prove their nationality or worse if a person is critically ill but is deterred from seeking treatment due to the cost.
The Department of Health has promise to publish further details of its plans on the new system in March 2014 but there are fears that such a system will be severely flawed that could end up costing lives.
This certainly is a delicate balance; do we simply swallow the cost in order to provide humanitarian health care to all those who seek it or do we take measure to force people to pay for the services they receive.
The reality is, as stated above, that the NHS is not a free system; the taxpayer pays handsomely and with the growing number of people having to wait extraordinary lengths of time to see a GP or receive treatment it is clear that the NHS is having problems treating our own without being burdened with foreigners simply looking for a free lunch.
We are acutely aware of just how deplorable the NHS has become; this is mainly due to it being overrun by executives, senior management and middle management who frankly would have trouble making a pot of tea unsupervised.
If the NHS is to survive and deliver the service is was step up for then we must restrict foreign health tourist and systematically start cleaning house to remove the costly over administered facilities.
More on this … Daily Mail