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SarahBell

Nhs To Be Saved By Charging Non-Eu Peeps For A&e

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34685022

Some foreign patients could be charged for emergency treatment or for calling out an ambulance under new government plans for England.
Visitors from outside the European Economic Area already pay for planned hospital care.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to save the NHS millions of pounds by extending the charges to A&E care.

All visitors to the UK and British expats are charged 150% of the cost of non-emergency NHS treatment in order to discourage people travelling to the UK just to use health services - so-called "health tourism".

In April new rules came into force which mean non-EU citizens settling in the UK for longer than six months are required to pay a "health surcharge" as part of their visa applications.

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How does this actually happen?
Is there a huge department checking that people are entitled to the treatment they have had? Or do they take people's word for where they are form?

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Amazing what a radical idea, bringing the UK into line with the rest of the world!! No doubt this will be a mind blowing concept for many rent a gob newspaper commentators

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The Government will only talk about it as per usual and do nothing as per usual

True, but there is nothing the government can effectively do about this, and many other abuses of taxpayers money, without:

1) A national ID system

2) A national health insurance system

Pretty standard stuff elsewhere in Western Europe.

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So they're gonna chuck people out of A&E if they don't have their passports? Or their cheque books?

There's already a mechanism in place to charge those not entitled to health care. It just doesn't work because the jobsworth administration in the NHS can't bother or it's contrary to their socialist principles.

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So they're gonna chuck people out of A&E if they don't have their passports? Or their cheque books?

There's already a mechanism in place to charge those not entitled to health care. It just doesn't work because the jobsworth administration in the NHS can't bother or it's contrary to their socialist principles.

I suspect it doesn't work because the people involved plead poverty and/or leave the country, bit like the student loans company..

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Surely this is ripe for private enterprise. Give one of those debt collection firms the right to keep 10% of whatever they collect and the ability to roam the hospital and watch the money roll in.

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True, but there is nothing the government can effectively do about this, and many other abuses of taxpayers money, without:

1) A national ID system

2) A national health insurance system

Pretty standard stuff elsewhere in Western Europe.

B*llocks on both points. Here in Canada, for example, you prove your entitlement to free healthcare by means of a card issued by the province for that purpose. To get one, you have to go to the relevant government office and prove your entitlement. There is no need for a national identity card as part of the scheme and the card itself is not linked to other government systems or used for any other purpose. Whether the healthcare is provided by an insurance scheme or by central government provision is neither here nor there to whether people who aren't entitled to free care get charged for it.

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Whilst I understand the principle behind it, I think it'll just be another nail in the coffin to foreign student applications. They've already dwindled since the last government tightened visa restrictions. With lots of courses being offered in English at other European universities, the UK has lost out quite a bit already.

I'm not saying it's impractical or necessarily a huge expense for foreign students to cover this but I think it's more the message it's gonna send out. I think it'll end up cost neutral.

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Ask for National Insurance numbers and electronically check in real time with HMRC whether the patient is resident in the UK for tax purposes. No NI number = potentially chargeable, but with time allowed before charging to apply for one if the patient wants to prove they are resident.

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There's already a mechanism in place to charge those not entitled to health care. It just doesn't work because the jobsworth administration in the NHS can't bother or it's contrary to their socialist principles.

So is the latest announcement anything more than an expression of intention to turn theory into practice, and perhaps a new process for doing so?

Surely this is ripe for private enterprise. Give one of those debt collection firms the right to keep 10% of whatever they collect and the ability to roam the hospital and watch the money roll in.

Nice idea in principle, and would work well in Ankh-Morpork. Here it might easily run into trouble as the meeja seek out (and maybe manufacture) stories about evil private companies doing bad things.

Though you'd probably have to auction the franchise(s) rather than pick a percentage out of some civil servant's head.

Whilst I understand the principle behind it, I think it'll just be another nail in the coffin to foreign student applications.

Um, aren't foreign students already covered, by virtue of the six month thingey?

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So they're gonna chuck people out of A&E if they don't have their passports? Or their cheque books?

There's already a mechanism in place to charge those not entitled to health care. It just doesn't work because the jobsworth administration in the NHS can't bother or it's contrary to their socialist principles.

Treatment at A&E is currently provided free-of-charge to all, regardless of nationality, residence or other. Similarly, treatment for contagious diseases is free for all, as is involuntary treatment for mental illness, and a variety of other humanitarian treatments (e.g. treatments related to previous torture, etc.)

GP and hospital treatment is only provided free-of-charge to those whose who are eligible for NHS funded treatment.

My experience of the latter, is that not all hospitals are very good at checking up on eligibility and ensuring that treatments are appropriately billed for. In general, it's a lot better at units providing high cost treatments (e.g. cancer treatments with expensive chemotherapy drugs), as in those units, there will be staff specifically trained in determining eligibility and working out where the bill should go, even before treatment starts. So, you do see failed asylum seekers denied the latest chemotherapy drugs, because the NHS will not fund it.

Similarly, hospitals which see large numbers of foreign patients for specialist treatments which cannot be provided by the patient's home country are extremely slick at handling this. They basically have admin staff available 24/7 to deal with queries from frontline staff, and will handle all the calls to whoever will be paying the bill (either the home country's government, or a private insurer, or family) before treatment is agreed.

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Every trust has an overseas patient department that will use the trust PAS to monitor overseas activity. The problem is sorting out those who fib about being EU (prolific). Then she they are found out they apply for asylum. Good luck getting payment out of Eritrea.

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