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Detail of outcome
The response sets out initial decisions and next steps including:
- introducing a new health surcharge for temporary migrants (including students and workers)
- considering how to exempt expatriates who have paid National Insurance from being charged when visiting the UK
- extending charging to care outside hospitals (eg to community rehabilitation) and to non-NHS providers of NHS care
- improving recovery of the money the UK is owed by other EEA countries
- working with the NHS and professionals to improve the identification, registration and cost recovery system
This consultation is about migrants’ access and financial contribution to the NHS. It is widely recognised that the NHS has a longstanding weakness in charging foreign nationals who use the NHS, and has similar problems in recovering the cost of treatment to visitors from the European Economic Area.
The consultation asks who should be charged in future, what services they should be charged for, and how we can ensure that the system is better able to identify patients who should be charged.
The consultation includes plans to:
make temporary residents from outside of the European Economic Area contribute to the cost of their healthcare with a levy that then enables them to access NHS services when they need them, or through health insurance or other options
end free access to primary care for all visitors and tourists
more effectively claim back reimbursement from the home countries of patients who are visiting from within European Economic Area
introduce more practical and easier ways for the NHS to identify whether someone is not eligible for free healthcare.
The NHS is and will remain free at the point of delivery for permanent residents.