NHS paying for other nations’ healthcare

The opposite of rationing is gifting! In addition to people who have never made a contribution to our Health Services, there are those who used to reside in the UK and have chosen to live abroad until they have something wrong! Identity cards with annual updates could be really helpful for a number of issues including eligibility..

Callum Jones in The Times reported 11th August 2015: NHS paying for other nations’ healthcare

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, was warned nearly two years ago about a loophole that allows non-UK residents to bill the NHS for medical treatments provided outside Britain.

Despite that, the government is only now investigating reports of people across Europe using the UK’s European health insurance card (EHIC) system, without living here or paying tax. The scheme is designed to cover the healthcare costs of Britons in Europe. Downing Street said claims that it was being exploited were worrying. The prime minister’s spokeswoman said: “It is completely unacceptable that people think that they can abuse the system.”

She added that the Department of Health was already looking into health tourism and would tighten up the EHIC system. Sarah Wollaston, chairwoman of the health select committee, called on the government to “act quickly to end this new form of health tourism”.

A government report in October 2013 commissioned by Mr Hunt warned that officials abroad had seen visitors from Europe “sometimes present a UK EHIC”. It added: “They were concerned that this might mean the card had been obtained under false pretences.” Labour has indicated that it will table parliamentary questions about what Mr Hunt knew and when.

Victoria Ward in The Telegraph reported: Loophole ‘allows foreigners to charge NHS for treatment abroad’ – Ministers say it is ‘unacceptable’ that foreigners can use European Health Insurance Cards for treatmeant in their home countries that is paid for by UK taxpayers

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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