03052015Sun

Last updateSun, 03 May 2015 2pm

Non-EU Visitors to Britain will be charged £200 NHS fee

Non-European Union immigrants to Britain will be charged a £200 fee under plans to stop visitors from exploiting the National Health Service.

The fee, for visas lasting more than six months, will be announced by ministers on Wednesday as part of a package of measures designed to reduce the impact of immigration on public services, in particular to deter so called "health-care tourists" who travel to the UK ostensibly for a holiday and seek out free care on the health service. 

“We need to ensure that those residing or visiting the UK are contributing to the system”, said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is also expected to outline plans to force landlords to check the immigration status of potential tenants.

The new schemes are designed to raise money and reduce the attractiveness of Britain to some immigrants.

According to the Department of Health, a report from 2003 found that the cost of treating foreign nationals in hospitals was up to £200 million a year.

However, official figures show that only about £33 million was spent on this last year.
About two thirds of this money was recovered.

The Department of Health believes that less than half of overseas visitors are currently identified.
Ministers have pledged to introduce the new rules in an Immigration Bill in Parliament later this year.

Nobody will be refused emergency care under the proposals.

The "health care levy" is the latest monetary deterrance for immigrants unveiled by the government following the £3000 "bond" announced for immigrants from "high-risk" countries outside the European Union.

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