Charges for migrants to use the NHS are being DOUBLED to £400
Charges for migrants to use the NHS are being DOUBLED to £400 to raise an extra £220m for the health service
- Charges for non-EU migrants to use the NHS are being doubled to £400 this year
- Fees are rising to ensure migrants make a ‘fair contribution’ to health service
- The increase is lower than had been proposed by the Tories before the election
Charges for migrants to use the NHS are being doubled, the government confirmed today.
Ministers said the move will raise an extra £220million a year for the health service ensure new arrivals make a ‘fair contribution’.
The £400 per year charge will apply to all migrants from outside the EU who want to stay in Britain for six months or more.
Students and those on special ‘mobility’ schemes for 18-30 year olds will get a discounted rate of £300, up from £150.
The £400 per year charge will apply to all migrants from outside the EU who want to stay in Britain for six months or more (file picture)
After Brexit the fees could theoretically apply to EU nationals – although that is likely to form part of negotiations.
However, the increase falls short of the Tory manifesto pledge to increase the annual fee to £600.
In a written statement to Parliament today, immigration minister Caroline Nokes said she would be formally putting the changes forward to be rubber-stamped by MPs.
‘Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers,’ she said.
‘We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but believe it is right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability.’
The surcharge was originally brought in by the Government in 2015 in a clampdown on so-called ‘health tourism’.
The Department of Health estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating migrants.
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The fee is levied when an application is made to come to Britain, and makes an individual exempt from NHS charges for overseas visitors.
It is payable every year, on top of regular taxes for workers, until migrants either return home or are granted indefinite leave to remain.
The £220million raised from the increased charges is expected to go straight back to the NHS.
Plans for the rise were watered down earlier this year along with a host of other pledges from the botched Tory election campaign.
Ms Nokes said: ‘The proposed amount is still below full average cost recovery level and remains a good deal for those seeking to live in the UK temporarily.
‘These changes do not affect permanent residents, who are not required to pay the IHS.
‘Certain vulnerable groups such as asylum seekers and modern slavery victims are exempt from paying the IHS. Short-term migrants (including those on visitor visas) and those without permission to be in the UK are generally charged for secondary care treatment by the NHS at the point of access.’
The £220million raised from the increased charges, due to be introduced later this year, will go straight back to the NHS (file picture)
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