Punishing fee for migrants misusing NHS facilities

Home Office plans major crackdown

21st January 2010: Migrants making attempts at exploiting the free treatment from NHS may soon find themselves in trouble. For the Home Office is planning a major crackdown on such migrants.

The Home Office, in fact, is all set to bring in “punishing fees” for deterring the migrants from taking undue advantage of the system. The development assumes significance as hospitals and care homes pay up huge amounts on the relatives of foreigners living in Britain.

The Home Office has also announced a hike in the visa fees for migrants bringing relatives to live with them in Britain will now have to pay more (see: Migrants bringing relatives to the UK to pay more). The Home Office is expecting to raise around £15million this way.

The NHS is believed to be under strain by migration. The number of those arriving from overseas registering with the NHS has increased by 50 per cent in the past seven years. In the last three years, the registrations have exceeded the inflow of migrants. 

Statistics recently released following a research by Migrationwatch found that in 2007-8, 605,000 arriving from abroad registered with a GP in England and Wales, equivalent ton one registration a minute. 

This was nearly 100,000 more than recorded by the International Migration Statistics in the same period, suggesting that short-term migrants have registered. Only 69,000 of the 605,000 were British citizens returning from overseas.

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