Migrant NHS charges warning

Government's proposals for an extended charging system for migrants and short term visitors attempting to access healthcare in the UK could cause unintended damage to NHS services, the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned.

NHS migrant charges 'uneconomic and inefficient'

Plans to extend charges on migrants and short term visitors using the NHS is "impractical, uneconomic and inefficient", according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

Chair of the trade union, Dr Mark Porter, warned the NHS did not have the infrastructure or resources to implement the policy.

The BMA believes that anyone accessing NHS services should be eligible to do so, but the Government's plans for extending charging to migrants and short term visitors are impractical, uneconomic and inefficient.

The NHS does not have the infrastructure or resources to administrate a charging system that is not likely to produce enough revenue to cover the cost of setting up its own bureaucracy.

The NHS does not need more administrators - it should be spending its money on caring for patients.

– Chair of BMA Council Dr Mark Porter

BMA issues warning over migrant healthcare charges

Government's proposals for an extended charging system for migrants and short-term visitors attempting to access healthcare in the UK could cause unintended damage to NHS services, the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned.

The group said there is no evidence that income from charging short-term visitors or migrants would be sufficient to cover the significant cost of the increased bureaucracy necessary to run the system.

A doctor giving a patient a blood pressure test.
The British Medical Association says extending the charging system for migrants could damage NHS services. Credit: PA Wire

The BMA has also warned that registering migrants at GP practices would increase the paperwork burden on already overstretched services.

Earlier this year, health officials revealed plans to charge foreigners who come to the UK hundreds of pounds a year to access NHS treatment.

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