Hunt: Foreign nationals' GP access 'out of control'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Credit: PA

The Government will consider restricting free medical care to foreigners staying in the UK temporarily, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today.

He told MPs the current system, which allows overseas nationals with temporary residence in the UK to see a doctor for free, is often "chaotic and out of control".

Mr Hunt told MPs the costs placed on the NHS by foreigners needing free care might impact on the standard of care received by British nationals entitled to treatment.

But the Health Secretary also admitted: "We don't know the full extent of abuse of NHS resources."

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