Migrants Cost Taxpayers Four Times More Than They Put In…
Lord Bates claimed that the low cost of healthcare was to recognise “the valuable contribution migrants make,” despite tax paying Brits footing the bill.
Medical professionals have slammed the surcharge system, saying it has encouraged health tourism, adding to the financial struggles of the already strained health service.
Cancer Surgeon J.Merion Thomas said: “The introduction of the surcharge was a disastrous error because the unintended consequence has been to encourage health tourism at minimal cost.”
GETTY Jeremy Hunt claimed the surcharge initiative would 'make sure the NHS is better resourced'
After paying the Health Surcharge, the migrant or student is fully entitled to free NHS care.
He added: “After paying the Health Surcharge, the migrant or student is fully entitled to free NHS care.
“To signify payment, a ‘green banner’ appears on their computerised NHS record, which guarantees unlimited treatment, even for pre-existing conditions.”
The legislation brought in by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government introduced a yearly £200 surcharge for migrants who stay in the UK for more than six months– with migrant students paying a reduced sum of £150 a year.
GETTY The government initiative offers NHS treatment to migrants for £200 a month
At the time Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised this would “make sure the NHS is better resourced”, but damning figures have revealed migrants are taking out a lot more than they are putting in to the beleaguered health service.
Early government projections claimed the surcharge would bring in £200 million for the NHS – just 0.2 per cent of the NHS’s £116.4billion budget.
Meanwhile the £200 sum, which gives migrants access to a huge range of treatments that the NHS provide, is less than a sixth of the £1,280 a Brit on a £30,000 salary puts into the health service every year.
But despite the government deciding on the yearly figure in a bid to help the struggling health service, Conservative Home office minister Lord Bates has claimed migrants are costing the NHS “just more than £800 per head”– adding up to a total cost of “more than £500million a year”.
He added that students who pay lower rates cost the NHS “just more than £700 per head, with a total gross cost to the NHS of £430m per year”
The Lord later admitted to fellow peers that the surcharge was “set well below the true cost to the NHS of treating temporary migrants”.
He added: “The low level recognises the valuable contribution migrants make, and the need to ensure the UK remains an attractive destination for global talent”.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We are focused on extending charging to other areas of healthcare, expecting to recover up to £500m a year by 2018 from visitors using the NHS”.