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GPs go forth

Foreign patients 'may be charged for GP care'

Short-term visitors from outside Europe staying less than six months may have to pay for GP services, health secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce later today.

Under the plans, new non-EU arrivals to Britain may have to pay an up-front fee of at least £1,000, or £200 per year to use the NHS when making a five-year visa application, newspapers have reported this morning.

Mr Hunt told the Guardian newspaper: ‘We need to ensure that those residing or visiting the UK are contributing to the system in the same way as British taxpayers, and ensure we do as much as possible to target illegal migration.

‘We have been clear that we are a national health service not an international health service and I am determined to wipe out abuse in the system.’

Pulse revealed earlier this year that more than half of GPs believe NHS entitlements for migrants are too generous, with some practices refusing to register patients they believe to be illegal immigrants or failed asylum seekers.

More to come on this story later today


Readers' comments (9)

  • What do they mean by "MAYBE". If its an emergency one cannot withhold treatment -ethically or forhuman rights. By definition emergency is remit of A&E. SO Can make a rule saying GP DONT have to treat the above mentioned group.
    Then again how do you find out if they are in the group unless you ask and if you ask LMC says you have to ask EVERYONE to avoid being accused of discrimination. it would be less work for practices to treat a few rather than ask everyone.
    Best would be to say no UK/EU passport or a Permanent VISA no free NHS treatment. Also every one applying for visitors VISA should be made to take a valid Insurance for travel to obtain VISA like other European countries.
    Unless they do this its mainly smokescreen to prevent vote leak to UKIP and does carry any substance.

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  • All the goverment talk is nonsensial. If they really want to have NHS- national and not international-- then every visitor at the port should produce evidence fo Helath Insuarance policy. If they don't have one, then they should be directed to on site Insuarance company to issue a policy prior to be allowed in.
    I would also check the policies from abroad to be not fradulant.
    This is the only way to have a National and not international service.
    However-- teh govement need to define emergency treatment-- to patients every ailment is an emergency.
    A grummpy old doctor

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  • he is proposing to charge them when they apply for a visa so the money will go to the treasury and the gp will be expected to see them for free,this man has no shame

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  • Ref Grumpy old Dr comment - that is exactly what is done on entry to Cuba -If a tourist does not have health insurance - a policy has to bepurchased in the airport before a person is allowed into the country -that is communism for you !!!

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  • £200 per year!!!! You have to be kidding.Well bring over your shopping lists,the International Health Service welcomes you with open arms.Our doors are wide open.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Some how the government is expecting GPs to suck up the pressure and do the 'dirty' work for them....

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  • That's rediculous. £200/year will not cover much and this wil entitle them to all of NHS as they've already paid! What more the GPs treating the patient will not get a penny so we are made to pinch the resources away from the british citizens to treat them.

    What cant NHS do all other country does - bill them per item of cost.

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  • Where is the dilema? No entry without Health Insurance. GPs charge as private patients, insist on cash/credit card and give receipt for patient to reclaim off their health insurance. Hospital care again credit card and if too large for credit limit then direct to insurance for emergencies. This is what nearly all other countries do.

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  • EasyDoc flights planned

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