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Migrants will be forced to pay upfront for non-urgent NHS treatment 'by end of the year'

Jeremy Hunt admitted earlier this year the legislation – due to be in place in April 2017 – had been delayed due to Brexit

Plans are being finalised by Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to force migrants to pay upfront for non-urgent NHS treatment by the end of the year.

Despite not being included in the Queen’s Speech, the Department for Health expects to be laying out the regulations, which include a legal requirement that hospitals charge patients who are not eligible for free NHS treatment upfront and in full for any non-urgent care.

In a bid to clampdown on so-called “health tourism”, according to the Sun newspaper, a new fee system will be introduced before the end of the year and migrants will be asked to bring a passport or other identification documentation to appointments. No one will be denied emergency treatment under the plans.

Mr Hunt believes up to £500m a year can recovered to reinvest in the health service but admitted in a select committee earlier this year the legislation had been delayed due to Britain’s exit from the European Union. The new law had been scheduled to be in place by April 2017.

But according to the fact-checking website Full Fact, so-called health tourism takes up around 0.3 per cent of the NHS budget and could include British citizens living overseas and returning to the UK for treatment.

Earlier this year The Independent also reported that hospitals refused free treatment for routine operations, from hip replacements to giving birth, to those who could not show a utility bill and passport under a pilot of the scheme expected to be in place by the end of the year.

Making clear the DfH intends to implement the legislation in the coming months, a spokesperson said: “As set out in our manifesto, the Government remains committed to ensuring overseas visitors and migrants not eligible for NHS-funded care make a fair contribution.

“In the last three years we have more than trebled the amount we have identified from international visitors and migrants from £90m to £289m, and will now go further by introducing regulations in due course. This will include making it a legal requirement that hospitals charge patients who are not eligible for free NHS treatment upfront and in full for any non-urgent care.”

At the general election, the Conservative manifesto added: “Whilst the NHS will always treat people in an emergency, no matter where they are from, we will recover the cost of medical treatment from people not resident in the UK. We will ensure that new NHS numbers are not issued to patients until their eligibility has been verified. And we will increase the Immigration Health Surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students, to cover their use of the NHS.

“This remains competitive compared to the costs of health insurance paid by UK nationals working or studying overseas.”

Fonte: The Independent

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BIBLIOTECA

biblioteca

O CSEM possui uma biblioteca especializada em migrações abrangendo em seu acervo aproximadamente 3 mil livros, periódicos e revistas científicas de vários países. 

Para consultar nossa biblioteca online visite o site da biblioteca e pesquise em nosso acervo.Horário de funcionamento: segunda a sexta-feira, das 9h às 17h


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