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At the heart of general practice since 1960

...When it's OK to check their passports

I was astonished to read the letter from Dr P Critchley (June 23 ) headlined 'Patients expect care ­ not to be interrogated'. There are those who might think that to adopt such a position is an unfair burden on the NHS.

Some time ago I attended a lecture given by someone who described himself as 'the interface between the Home Office and the NHS'. The figures he gave for the amount of fraudulent use of the NHS were horrifying.

As I understand it the rules are simple ­ as long as you do not discriminate in any way you are perfectly entitled to check the passports of prospective patients. If staying over six months with a tourist visa that states specifically that he is not entitled to the use of public funds.

Dr Cornel Fleming

London NW5

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