This site is intended for health professionals only

UK visitors must have health insurance to see GP, says UKIP

Health insurance must be made compulsory for tourists and migrants so that GPs do not waste time checking whether patients are entitled to free care, UKIP has announced.

UKIP health spokesperson, Louise Bours MEP, said Government plans to make GPs check patients have a European Health Insurance Card – which Pulse revealed will be piloted in ten areas across the country – will reduce the amount of time GPs can spend seeing patients.

Ms Bours said: ‘The government should not be using doctors as border guards. GP appointments are already like gold-dust in some areas, and this will reduce the amount of time doctors can see patients even further.

‘They only way to ensure everyone gets the treatment they are entitled to is to introduce compulsory health insurance for anyone visiting Britain. If someone need[s] emergency treatment, clearly they will get it, this is more about people with conditions that require on-going or long term treatment.

‘This would save the NHS the huge amounts it loses to health tourism each year, and could be spent on improving the NHS for everyone.’