Foreign Nationals Owe The NHS £500 Million?

by Leicestershire correspondent



The NHS was founded on the principle that it’s a service free at the point of use for those whom are resident in the UK regardless of income. However, for decades quite rightly foreign or migrant patients usually needed to pay a fee for their treatment. Clearly, in reality many do not and use the NHS. Along with the importation of migrant labour into the NHS at the expense of training our own population the NHS has become an international service, with a record number of foreign staff and patients. The current model is quite frankly unstainable!


Information shows the government is expected to fall well short of its target of recovering £500m a year from overseas visitors treated in NHS hospitals in England. A new surcharge for non-EU patients accounts for much of the rise, but only about half of debts owed are recovered. The Department of Health has refined to £346m its target for 2017-18, says the National Audit Office. Some £289m was paid in 2015-16; £73m in 2012-13.The Department of Health’s £500m recovery target was aimed at reducing NHS trusts’ deficits, which reached £2.45bn in 2015-16. That year, an extra £164m was raised from a new £200-a-year surcharge on visa applications paid by temporary migrants from outside the EEA.


The vast majority of the costs for non-EEA visitors and migrants are not recoverable, because they’re related to GP, A&E or other services that don’t charge – This comes to a figure of about £300 million. Currently in respect of money owed about only 40% of people are identified, 85% of those get invoiced, and a mere 40% of those invoiced actually end up paying!


According to Fullfact ‘’Normal’ use of the NHS—by foreign visitors who’ve ended up being treated while in England—is estimated to cost about £1.8 billion a year.’


Further reading:

5 thoughts on “Foreign Nationals Owe The NHS £500 Million?

  1. The amount spent on NHS ”tourists” that have been treated for AIDS/HIV runs into the hundreds of millions. The last time I read about this in the Mail the figure was £750,000,000…and that was about 4 or 5 years ago.

  2. If one holidays abroad medical insurance is required. No-one complains and yet not to treat foreign nationals in Britain who have no such medical insurance would somehow be deemed as ‘racist’.Why?
    Regarding the NHS, if it is such a wonderful idea why has no other country in the world copied it?

  3. John Shaw ( Party Official ) I don’t know about the Foreign Nationals , what about the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE OVERLOADING THE N.H.S. WHO ARE LISTED AS ‘ BRITISH AND CLEARLY ARE NOT ?

  4. The £500 million is pure hyperbole. Simple reason the NHS has no idea who a foreign national is. Plus some (residents) are also foreign nationals and not entitled.
    I have a medical card on which a numbers is printed. When was I or you last asked to produce it to prove entitlement.
    I thought so.
    Doctors claim to be far too busy to check entitlment. Perhaps they are ,in fact most certainly they are. But what about the non medical army each hospital employs. My particular hospital seems submerged in them All it needs, is two on call at the AE department . Three shifts that’s six. An they don’t need to check all, only those likely to be health tourists.
    Of course that would be seen as racist homophobic anti gender unspecific, plus any new fashionable term . Saving tax not the slightest importance.

  5. Just put ‘the news’ on and was greeted with a picture and words from an aging MARXIST , sporting a large badge saying N.H.S. 70 years. The confused person was of course Jeremy Corbyn and he seems to think he and his fellow discredited Lefty menaces own the NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE. The actual facts are that it is OUR HEALTH SERVICE AND HE AND HIS PARTY’S REGULAR DESTRUCTION OF OUR ECONOMY , EACH TIME THEY GET IN POWER , ARE THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE N.H.S. AS THERE IS NEVER ANY MONEY TO PUT IN , WHEN THEY ARE INVOLVED ! Further to this CORBYN and his like are continually demanding that MILLIONS MORE PEOPLE COME TO OUR COUNTRY AND OVERWHELM OUR HEALTH SERVICES ! So , COMRADE CORBYN IS ACTUALLY THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE N.H.S. AS HIS DOUBLE WHAMMY OF DISASTER PROVES !

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