NHS Health Tourism

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Kitmarlowe, Apr 4, 2013.

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  1. Unfortunately its the tracking down and getting payment that's one of the big hurdles.

    I live abroad, to get treatment aside from emergency you need to present a medical card saying your qualified, to registrar with a doctor you have to present if your a foreigner 1, permission to stay permit 2, ID Card 3, If not working a certificate from the local office that administers the health funding that you have contributed to the medical system.

    Whilst its jumping through hoops it prevents Health Tourism.

    Time to implement some of the above in the UK?
  2. Unlikely to happen in the UK. would require a sea change to how the NHS is run which most will not wear. Be they patients or health workers.

    The trick is in keeping the health tourists out, which probably isn't as easy as it sounds. If you're in this country and you need treatment... You'll get it.

    For the foreseeable future at least.
  3. When I was in Thailand they took my passport until my bill was paid.
  4. You've probably only got the one passport though.
  5. That's great, so Mrs. Wankadeaddog lands in from Bollickstan, has her baby, won't pay, and we don't let her leave?

    I can see an issue or two.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I can also come up with a solution or two but I am using my work laptop, so I best not.
  7. Good CO

    Good CO LE Admin

    I thought this comment was interesting (from the original link), and robs the story of some although perhaps not all of its OUTRAGE.

    Jon Danzig • 4 hours ago
    This article claims that billions, not millions, may be lost to the NHS because of health tourism, but only offers anecdotal evidence. That doesn’t make the points in the article untrue, but neither does it adequately verify them. We surely need reliable, properly collated empirical evidence to accurately measure the extent of the problem. Currently in the UK ‘anecdotal evidence’ is being used to promote feelings of animosity against foreigners, and we need to be careful when relying too heavily on what unnamed doctors or health workers are claiming about abuses of the system.
    Under existing regulations, the NHS is entitled to charge foreign visitors not ordinarily resident in the UK for the cost of healthcare, with the exception of accidents and emergencies. We already have an NHS Counter Fraud Service responsible for investigating, detecting and preventing fraud. There is no reason that the cost of providing care to foreign visitors should be a threat to the NHS if existing regulations are efficiently administered.
    When an answer was given to the House of Commons by Health Minister, Anne Milton, it was revealed that the audited costs to the NHS for these losses came to just less than £7 million in 2009-10. That’s a tiny fraction of 1% of the NHS annual budget. If Parliament was given inaccurate information, this needs to be promptly corrected.
    See also the investigation by FullFact.org “Is 'health tourism' costing the taxpayer £200 million?” Factcheck: Is 'health tourism' costing the taxpayer £200 million? | Full Fact And my own blog, 'End of the National Health Service?'Jon Danzig's World: End of the National Health Service?
  8. Again it's a good rabble rousing issue and a talking point. But once you actually get down to the nitty gritty, not many people are going to support radical alterations to the NHS. We, as a folk, like it too much. We like the way it works, we like that an ambulance will come and pick us up in street, we like that it will take us to hospital and we like that we will be operated on. We like that during this process nobody will check our pockets for an "entitlement" card and leave us to rot in a corner if they can't find one. We, as a folk, are actually proud of the fact. (Although it's terribly unfasionable to admit to being proud of things).

    So you're looking at stopping health tourists getting into the country rather than overhauling the NHS. And, in the case of the aforementioned Mrs. Wankadeaddog, try telling someone whose papers are otherwise in order that they can't come in to the UK 'cos they're up the duff... Courts will fine us enough to put Wankadeaddog Jr. through university.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. The other side of the coin- I live here (OK private health insurance) but it would be cheaper for the NHS to pay for treatments out here than for me to have them in the UK. (A dental checkup and clean costs around GBP12, an annual physical around GBP 60 including blood tests, etc).

    My old age pension will also be locked from the day I qualify for it and I will not get any annual increases. A bit silly as I am less of a burden on the state living abroad- if all the expats were to return to the UK it would put a hell of a strain on the system.

    Holding passports is actually illegal but TiT and the big boys get away with it. Private Hosps normally take credit card imprint and check for medical insurance before peeps are in the exam room.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    Though one esteemed teaching institution last term told a group of students that as many as one in four of the people they would see that day were likely to be health tourists and they should just get on with it.

    Let's be honest, no-one has a clue what the real figures are, not Littlejohn and not Danzig, and nobody on either side of the debate wants to be responsible for Mrs Gabango joining the choir eternal on the tarmac at Heathrow with the immigration authorities pulling the drips out and the world's press looking on.

    There's also an element of the NHS which philosophically approves of treating anyone who asks for it, regardless of entitlement or whether that means that someone who has contributed has to go without, and they're not going to alert any auditors to abuses any time soon.
  11. True but at least it would stop the Americans.
  12. I only need one, as I have no intention of going to Israel.

    The solution is simple, when someone comes to the UK make it a requirement to show their medical insurance at the same time they show their passport simple.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. I remember a patient we had who was from Ethiopia, she started having chest pains and her family stuck her on a plane to the uk for treatment. Sure enough she came in for treatment, spent some time in ITU etc racking up some fair costs. Funnily enough when the hospital came round to collect the bill her family flew her back home pretty bloody quickly. I remember correctly the bill was near the 10k mark.

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