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  1. ITV Report

Visitors to UK set to be charged for NHS treatment

Non-EU nationals staying in England for more than six months face a charge of £200 a year for non-emergency NHS treatment, under new plans revealed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt said the changes were designed to "wipe out abuse in the system" by visitors to the UK making it clear the NHS was "not an international health service".

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Credit: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire/

The Royal College of General Practitioners warned against the reforms saying GPs "must not become a new 'border agency' in policing access to the NHS" - a suggestion that Jeremy Hunt later dismissed.

Labour's shadow health minister Liz Kendall also raised concerns over whether the measures would be possible to enforce and questioned how much money the move would save.

GP Dr Surendra Dhariwal said the saving would be "minuscule" in relation to the money the NHS spends.

ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby reports:

The National AIDS Trust said the measures would threaten the health of the public.

Deborah Jack, Chief executive of the trust urged the government to reconsider arguing that they "were putting lives at risk".

A Department of Health spokeswoman later confirmed that people with HIV would still receive free healthcare if the scheme went ahead.

Mr Hunt said the changes were designed to "wipe out abuse in the system" by visitors to the UK Credit: PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron also rebuffed suggestions from Labour MP Dianne Abbott that the plans are "xenophobic", saying it is "right to make sure that those people who don't have a right to use our NHS get properly charged for it."