Foreign visitors coming to Britain for medical treatment cost the National Health Service tens of millions of pounds every year.
In 2010, some £24 million was stolen from our NHS, because health tourists provided incorrect information for billing, giving false addresses and in some cases even using fake passports.
Many health tourists are coming to Britain to get treatment because they are unable to received it back in their own countries.
This is because successive British Governments have persisted in the practice of ‘looting’ the best doctors and nurses from Third World countries, despite these countries’ needs being much greater that ours.
Last September, Mr Amadou Toumani Toure, President of the Republic of Mali, addressed the European Parliament.
In his speech he referred to the debilitating effect on his country’s health service of Mali-trained doctors and nurses being enticed away for jobs in Britain and Europe.
But here in Britain there has also been a detrimental effect from the huge influx of foreign medical staff over the past ten years.
Newly qualified nurses have been told by college trainers that they “may as well work for a supermarket” because there are no nursing jobs available in the National Health Service.
On completing their three-year training course, at a cost to the NHS of £15,600 each, nursing graduates are often told that local hospitals cannot afford to employ them.
Nursing graduates across the country are struggling to find employment because a growing number of NHS Trusts — in order to cut costs to the bone — are signing up Third World nurses for half of the cost of employing British trained nurses.
So while the sick and infirm in countries like Mali and the Philippines can’t get treatment because their doctors and nurses have come to Britain, British nurses, highly trained at the expense of the taxpayer, are consigned to stacking shelves at their local supermarkets.
How much worse can it get? A lot, we suspect.