Government consults on charging overseas visitors for emergency care

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 08 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6680
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

Migrants and overseas visitors from outside the European Union are to be charged for using emergency departments, ambulances, and some general practice services in England under new plans tabled by the UK government.

A Department of Health (DH) consultation published on 7 December 20151 proposes to extend the range of services that non-EU patients must pay for beyond those set out in the current regulations, which apply only to secondary care treatment in hospitals.

Under the new proposals non-EU patients would be required to pay for primary care services such as phlebotomy, physiotherapy, eye care, and dentistry, as well as for ambulance services and attendance at emergency departments. Standard GP consultations would remain free.

The consultation also proposes tightening the eligibility …

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