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Immigrants and overseas visitors are to be charged for using A&E in England

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7698 (Published 31 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7698
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

Immigrants and temporary visitors to England will not be charged to see a GP but will have to pay for using hospital accident and emergency services and some primary care services, the government has said in what it calls a clampdown on misuse of the NHS.

No one will be turned away in an emergency, the Department of Health has said. And it will introduce a new system for identifying and recording patients who should be charged for NHS services.

Non-UK residents will also be charged for maternity services and prescriptions and will be charged at a higher rate for services that are subsidised, such as optical and dental care. The health department is also considering charging for minor surgery carried out by a GP and for physiotherapy that has been referred through a GP.

Research published by the government in October found that the cost of treating migrants and visitors could be as high as £2bn (€2.4bn; …

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