01 November 2016
"Patients could be told to bring two forms of identification including a passport to hospital to prove they are eligible for free treatment under new rules to stop so-called health tourism.
The most senior official in the Department of Health told MPs on Monday that he was looking at making hospitals check patients’ papers to find out whether they should be paying, a proposal he admitted was “controversial”.
It would mean that those trying to access health services in England, including British citizens, might have to prove their identity before having operations and undergoing tests in hospitals, but it would not cover care received at GP surgeries."
See: Hospitals may require patients to show passports for NHS treatment (The Guardian, link)
And: How much does 'health tourism' actually cost the NHS? (The Mirror, link): the cost of "health tourism" is not £2 billion, and some of the cost of treating non-UK residents is "clawed back" from other countries.
Also: NHS passport proposals are just more grubby politics from May and Hunt (OpenDemocracy, link): "This proposal is not really about saving money. It is about deflecting the blame for the NHS crisis away from the real challenges of dealing with an NHS beset by funding cuts, demoralised staff, and privatisation. An health and care system where general practice, A&E, public health and social care are all in crisis. Theresa May’s government needs to abandon their dismantling of the NHS and looking for scapegoats to blame, and focus instead on saving it."
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