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Recover Health Tourism Debt

This petition had 795 supporters

Over the past decade, the NHS lost hundreds of millions of pounds through the treatment of foreign patients where the costs were not recovered. Freedom of Information Act requests have shown that most NHS trusts at best only cursorily audit the treatment of foreign nationals not entitled to automatic free healthcare and GP practices do not record this information at all, despite in many other countries access to primary care having a nominal charge for all patients, including British visitors. This is the case in countries like France and Germany where an entry fee for primary care is required or in Spain where proof of insurance is needed. Many hospitals do not even ask whether patients are foreign nationals, with one poll of NHS managers showing that a third of them did not routinely ask patients about their eligibility for free care. The issue of fairness is key. Fairness to the British taxpayers that fund the system and fairness to those that use it. This petition calls on Parliament to: • Qualify residency criteria for free NHS care • Create more effective and efficient processes to screen for eligibility • Establish more robust methods of securing recovery of treatment costs including options for requiring health insurance These measures would save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds. We need a fair National Health Service, not an abused international Health Service.

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