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Health Secretary determined to stop abuse of health service

Plans have been put forward to curb so-called health tourism, where visitors come to the UK for free medical treatment.

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he wants to ensure that people who visit the UK contribute to the NHS in the same way as British taxpayers.

However, there are concerns that restricting access to health care could put lives at risk, and that doctors could end up having to police the system.

Mr Hunt says he is determined to stop the abuse of the health service.

Health Secretary in region for 'Dementia Roadshow'

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is in Newcastle as part of the Dementia Roadshow. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is in the region today, June 20.

Mr Hunt is in Newcastle as part of Dementia Roadshow. The event, an extension of the Prime Minister's 'Dementia Promise', brings together experts and charities who help people with the disease.

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Hunt hits out at 'discredited' MMR scare claims

A global scare sparked by the "discredited and inaccurate" claims of a doctor 15 years ago over the MMR vaccine have caused huge worry to parents in South Wales following a measles epidemic in the region, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

Mr Hunt said Dr Andrew Wakefield's comments about the vaccination had "absolutely no scientific basis" as he urged parents of children who had not been given two doses to contact their local GP as soon as possible.

Mr Hunt told the Commons, "What Andrew Wakefield said had absolutely no scientific basis and has caused huge damage and huge worry to many thousands of parents".

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Credit: ITV News

"It is very important to reiterate that the scientific way to prevent measles, which can be a horrible, even fatal disease, is to make sure that you have had two doses of MMR", he continued.

"Parents of children who have not had those doses, parents of children of any age, should contact their GP if they have not had those two doses, particularly in the current circumstances".

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Ex-heart tsar to play no further part in Leeds heart debate

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Sir Roger Boyle would play no further part in a review of where children's heart surgery should in future be carried out.

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

The government's former heart tsar sparked controversy last week when he told the BBC he would not send his daughter for treatment at Leeds General Infirmary's child heart surgery unit.

Mr Hunt said that while Sir Roger was still one of the leading heart surgeons his role in the Safe and Sustainable process aimed at centralising children's heart surgery into specialist centres would end.

He said: "He did the right thing in informing Sir Bruce (Keogh, NHS England Medical Director) about his concerns over Leeds mortality data.

"However it is the view of Sir Bruce, with which I fully concur, his comments to the media on April 11 could be seen as pre-judging any future conclusions made by that review and so it is right he plays no further role in its deliberations."

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