Academy Comments on Charging Overseas Visitors for NHS Care
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The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges recognises the principle that migrants should contribute to the cost of healthcare when in the UK.
However, in its response to the DH consultation, the Academy was clear that proposals must not undermine a doctor’s duty of care or the trust between doctor and patient. It is therefore essential that any arrangement for the charging of individuals or the checking of eligibility is removed from the sphere of the personal interaction between the clinician and the patient.
In addition, proposals to tackle the issue must not create a bureaucratic process and burden that outweighs any tangible benefits.
The Academy were also absolutely clear that no-one should be denied access to immediate necessary treatment wherever they may be irrespective of their means and status. The exemption of charges in relation to infectious disease is essential for public health purposes. We believe that there is also a strong case for exemption of particular mental health problems.
The Academy and medical Royal Colleges and Faculties are keen to discuss possible arrangements with the Government to ensure that a scheme brought in for understandable reasons is practical proportionate and does not create unintended adverse consequences.
Read the Academy's response to the DH Sustaining Services and Ensuring fairness consultation here.
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