Last Night BBC investigation on Health Tourists

#21
The EHIC (old E111) does cover you for treatment if you are a visitor. As it does for a UK citizen visiting another EU country. It's not just UK which has the "health tourists". Spain is full of them and many expats abuse the system by using the EHIC for years and years. It's so bad in Spain that they have had to change the rules (again) by making even EU citizens prove they have adequate health cover and income when they apply for residency. Spain also has free healthcare (very similar to the NHS) but is contribution based, not residency based. Under 18s and over pensionable age gets you free cover paid for by the country you paid the NI (or equivalent) contributions in. In between you have to pay the Social security payments to get it (although only one person in the household need to do that to cover everyone under the same roof).
The bit about charging (taking bribes) for registering someone. Darn it, all those years as a Practice Manager and I never thought of that one. The rules for who and who cannot get treatment in UK are extremely confusing and constantly being updated so it's no wonder the average GP receptionist doesn't know the rules. I spent loads of my time telling people whether they could or could not register and, for the ones I told couldn't, was generally overruled by the local PCT who said they could. (Example: 45 year old Middle Easterner with 2 wives and 5 kids all on a "student" visa. I allowed them to register due to the visa but wouldn't register the nanny they brought with them as she had a visitors visa with "no recourse to public funds" stamped on it. Overruled by PCT as she was a part of their household). There were loads of examples like that. The government saying that ex-service personnel could get priority was overturned by the PCT but "travellers" were given priority due to the difficulty of registering with one GP, and boy, did the travellers know all about their "rights", demanding to be seen by a GP over regular patients because it was "in the rules".
The most annoying bit was providing interpreters. In Spain, you provide your own at 20 euros a pop. No interpreter, no treatment. In UK we spent a fortune on them and would provide a Language Line (doctor on phone passing the phone between patient and GP talking to native speaker) for virtually every language you could think of (Ito included). There was even a specialist centre in Leicester that would provide an interpreter (all at public expense, of course) who would ensure their lot went in first if there was a delay or they would charge the practice extra for the length of time.
No wonder the NHS hoovers up the cash like it does.
 
#22
I wouldn't deny that corruption amongst UK Nationals exists everywhere but I hang onto the old fashioned belief that when all is said and done most British people are 'decent', respectful of others and abide by the law of the land - perhaps that is because we have a more 'matured' culture and developed system of law and personal morals because we have been fortunate to be born and live in a country that is basically fair to all - people arriving from other countries where rights are less well defined are probably forced to be more 'Jack' to survive and less respectful of others and authority.

The main point being that instead of adopting the best bits of British culture and belief system they are bringing their worst habits here with them and reverting back to the norm.
HG, I totally agree, maybe I'm biased but I think this fair land of ours stands, at it's core ethos, as one of the fairest and most just on this Earth and long has done. The problem with immigration is none integration, immigration is perfectly fine and welcome if these people are willing to take on board, abide by, integrate into and contribute to British society, rather than trying to live as if they are still in their home nations but enjoying the perks of our land.

I am the son of an immigrant father, but my father has since the day he arrived contributed to and integrated into society, never having taken any benefits, took English as his main language despite it not being his mother tongue and is as British in nature as the next man.
 
#23
The EHIC (old E111) does cover you for treatment if you are a visitor. As it does for a UK citizen visiting another EU country. It's not just UK which has the "health tourists". Spain is full of them and many expats abuse the system by using the EHIC for years and years. It's so bad in Spain that they have had to change the rules (again) by making even EU citizens prove they have adequate health cover and income when they apply for residency. Spain also has free healthcare (very similar to the NHS) but is contribution based, not residency based. Under 18s and over pensionable age gets you free cover paid for by the country you paid the NI (or equivalent) contributions in. In between you have to pay the Social security payments to get it (although only one person in the household need to do that to cover everyone under the same roof).
The bit about charging (taking bribes) for registering someone. Darn it, all those years as a Practice Manager and I never thought of that one. The rules for who and who cannot get treatment in UK are extremely confusing and constantly being updated so it's no wonder the average GP receptionist doesn't know the rules. I spent loads of my time telling people whether they could or could not register and, for the ones I told couldn't, was generally overruled by the local PCT who said they could. (Example: 45 year old Middle Easterner with 2 wives and 5 kids all on a "student" visa. I allowed them to register due to the visa but wouldn't register the nanny they brought with them as she had a visitors visa with "no recourse to public funds" stamped on it. Overruled by PCT as she was a part of their household). There were loads of examples like that. The government saying that ex-service personnel could get priority was overturned by the PCT but "travellers" were given priority due to the difficulty of registering with one GP, and boy, did the travellers know all about their "rights", demanding to be seen by a GP over regular patients because it was "in the rules".
The most annoying bit was providing interpreters. In Spain, you provide your own at 20 euros a pop. No interpreter, no treatment. In UK we spent a fortune on them and would provide a Language Line (doctor on phone passing the phone between patient and GP talking to native speaker) for virtually every language you could think of (Ito included). There was even a specialist centre in Leicester that would provide an interpreter (all at public expense, of course) who would ensure their lot went in first if there was a delay or they would charge the practice extra for the length of time.
No wonder the NHS hoovers up the cash like it does.
...no wonder then it is one of the top ten biggest employers in the world. Many of the others being either global operations organisations in India and China, countries with populations of circa 1 billion.
 
#24
I wouldn't deny that corruption amongst UK Nationals exists everywhere but I hang onto the old fashioned belief that when all is said and done most British people are 'decent', respectful of others and abide by the law of the land - perhaps that is because we have a more 'matured' culture and developed system of law and personal morals because we have been fortunate to be born and live in a country that is basically fair to all - people arriving from other countries where rights are less well defined are probably forced to be more 'Jack' to survive and less respectful of others and authority.

The main point being that instead of adopting the best bits of British culture and belief system they are bringing their worst habits here with them and reverting back to the norm.
So the woman from the fraud unit didn't mention ex pats carrying out the same frauds?

Hmmmmmmm - I could have sworn she did
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#26
So the woman from the fraud unit didn't mention ex pats carrying out the same frauds?

Hmmmmmmm - I could have sworn she did
They have, at some time at least, paid into the system, unlike those on the programme!
 
#30
Your point on corruption: it is as endemic in the UK as in the worst of African and other countries - we are just better at disguising it. The trouble is that UK government departments responsible for routing out fraud are working with out-of-date information and systems and, as you imply, are actually opposed by senior staff in the Civil Service - see articles in the last couple of days over the Virgin/First Group rail scandal and on said staff "obstructing" decisions by ministers, obviously to serve their own means.

On the point of corruption in the NHS, this should be seen as yet another nail in its own coffin lid. While routine operations, such as hip replacements, are now being put off for older people (dismissed by some GPs and consultants as just an inevitable result of ageing), I really do want to move out of the EU, to somewhere I can pay an effective health insurance premium and be sure I get the treatment I need.
Here in the Caymans there is no free health care even though it is a British Crown Colony. Everyone has to have health insurance of which as a legal minimum the employer pays half. Some firms, mine included, pay the full amount which is CI$600 per month for me. Any really complicated problems and your health insurer ships you out to Maimi if a local hospital cannot treat you. The system works well but then you cannot get a work permit/visa as an expat unless you have a clean bill of health to start with so the general standard of health for at least half the population (only half the people here are Caymanians, the rest expats) is high to start with.
 
#31
If you're too sleepy to figure that one out Whet I'll help. He implied you are a benefit scrounging bone idle ****.
 
#32
Hospital near a ferry port?
Maternity units tend to have a surprising number of 'day trippers' who waltz straight into A&E and drop a sprog.
 
#33
I wouldn't deny that corruption amongst UK Nationals exists everywhere but I hang onto the old fashioned belief that when all is said and done most British people are 'decent', respectful of others and abide by the law of the land - perhaps that is because we have a more 'matured' culture and developed system of law and personal morals because we have been fortunate to be born and live in a country that is basically fair to all ........
Fully agree. We have something called "compassion" - as you say, we are "'decent', respectful of others and abide by the law of the land ...". This was a core reason for the establishment of the NHS; we treat all and ask questions, if necessary, after. The American private system was supposed to do the same but abandoned the idea some time ago. But now, possibly because of EU interference, we are taken advantage of by all and sundry - our own compassion has backfired on us.

It could be so simple to rectify - the NHS trusts who provide treatment for health tourists should chase up those who owe it money. After all, the American, Canadian and other private systems have no trouble in doing this (although the US employs teams of lawyers for their version).
 
#34
I lived in Spain for a number of years and contributed to the Social Security system which enabled use of the health system. At that stage if you were employed whether you were in the same family or not (including self employed) the rule was that you were to pay contributions. There were thousands of Brits who were using the E111 and are still using the equivalent today. They try to remain non resident for anything in either country and nip backwards and forwards on cheap flights for teeth, glasses, meds, winter fuel allowance and anything else they can get.This includes those who trumpet absolute loyalty to one country or another but stop of course when it gets to their pocket.
When I returned from Spain in 2000 it took months for me and mine before we could register with a doctor and get a foot back in the door because it is up to you, or was then to prove that you were NOT a non habitual resident. God knows what would happen to me now if I wanted to take advantage of the health system that I paid into for 45 years. By the way I topped up my contributions in a lump sum to qualify for an (almost) full pension. In all my working life I was unemployed for six weeks when I left the mob. If where I live now goes tits up, which it could, I am coming back and taking note of all the lesson I have learnt form our beloved immigrants and those who help weave the web of lies and deceit which enables them.
 
#35
Fully agree. We have something called "compassion" - as you say, we are "'decent', respectful of others and abide by the law of the land ...". This was a core reason for the establishment of the NHS; we treat all and ask questions, if necessary, after. The American private system was supposed to do the same but abandoned the idea some time ago. But now, possibly because of EU interference, we are taken advantage of by all and sundry - our own compassion has backfired on us.

It could be so simple to rectify - the NHS trusts who provide treatment for health tourists should chase up those who owe it money. After all, the American, Canadian and other private systems have no trouble in doing this (although the US employs teams of lawyers for their version).
American doctors are required to sign the Hippocratic Oath so they cannot refuse lifesaving treatment' although they can stabilise them and evacuate to a socialised hospital elsewhere.
 
#37
American doctors are required to sign the Hippocratic Oath so they cannot refuse lifesaving treatment' although they can stabilise them and evacuate to a socialised hospital elsewhere.
No they aren't.
 
#38
Whet - to clarify my original post had 2 main points:

1. Fraudulent use of the NHS by non entitled people via Non British Origin go-betweens (I believe British ex-pats are wrong to abuse the system too and Spain shouls sort that out)

2. Non adherance to British values, customs and laws of aforesaid Non British origin go-betweens in various rackets such as fake college courses, visas and people trafficking (unlike your Spanish example these go-beetweens were taking advantage of scared diadvantaged people of their own ethnic group as well as thumbing their nose at the generosity of their host nation)

blaise comments about ex-pats in Spain does not address these 2 issues and is the sort of thing that politicians and aplogists do to deflect the subject away from talking about anything involving the behaviour of immigrants, legal or illegal.
 
T

Tremaine

Guest
#40
The same attitudes and sanctions we apply to tax dodgers, corruption and greedy bastards (you know, Banks, the CS, private contractors) should be applied to abuse of the NHS and abuse of public funding. Nothing to do with racism or prejudice which our silly idealists will claim. We're supposed to be culling wastage, aren't we?

As I understood things, the NHS ideal is that good healthcare should be available to all UK residents regardless of wealth. In other European countries there's no NHS and their health service is based on a system of compulsory insurance via public insurance trusts and private insurance companies. Wouldn't wash in Blighty because the same corrupt greedy enterprises would price it all out of reach. I fear that our publicly funded NHS while doing its best under Government funding, is just one more facility easily abused by foreign nationals. It seems clear that we can't stop, catch or prevent illegal immigrants, and there's legal migration whatever that is. And so maybe it's time to make the non entitled pay. From a central view we seem to be trapped in an overly Liberal society that overly tolerates, afraid of racist labels and even encouraging abuse of our public services and funding. If we're so poorly off and must suffer these present cuts, make foreign tourists pay more for treatment, and on every occasion.

If johnny foreigner can't pay for our NHS treatment, claim it back from their country.
 

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