Health tourists cost UK taxpayers nearly £6billion in eight years –

7 months ago Comments Off on Health tourists cost UK taxpayers nearly £6billion in eight years –

“On top of that, health tourism from the EU has cost us billions. This money could have been much better spent – it could have been invested to improve care for NHS patients.

“If we vote to leave we will be able to stop handing over so much money to the EU and we would be able to spend our money on priorities here in the UK like  abolishing prescription charges and investing in the NHS.”

Dr Thomas added: “We need to leave the EU if only to save the NHS from a massive burden of EU patients, all of whom are entitled to full and free NHS care on the basis of freedom of movement and being ‘ordinarily resident’. For some EU migrants with a pre-existing illness, the offer of free healthcare is more importand than a job.”

However, Britain Stronger in Europe seized on the comments from Ms Stuart that the money could be “much better spent” as a “major admission” from that if Britain leaves Europe “free emergency healthcare for UK nationals travelling in the EU will be lost”.

It said that ending the current system would force UK holidaymakers paying the full cost of medical treatment when they fall ill or suffer an accident in an EU country, which, using Vote Leave, means a £773 million a year bill for healthcare while on holiday.

Under the present system, British nationals are entitled to a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC),giving them the right to access state-provided healthcare on temporary stays at a reduced cost, or sometimes free.

James McGrory, a spokesman of Britain Stronger In Europe, said: “I congratulate Vote Leave for their honesty in admitting that they would leave British holidaymakers out of pocket by forcing them to cover the cost of treatment in EU countries. 

“Falling ill away from home is worrying enough, and the European Health Insurance Card allows British families to access the best available care without having to worry about the costs.

“Vote Leave clearly think that this policy is a price worth paying. But to leave Brits to face a massive bill on their sickbed miles away from home would be damaging and inhumane.

“The millions of British people who holiday in, or go on business to Europe every year are safer and better off thanks to our membership of the EU, while leaving would put travellers at risk.”

Official Government figures disclosed last month showed that cash clawed back from European Union migrants who use British hospitals has fallen over the past year despite a surge in EU nationals moving to the UK.

A BMA spokesman said: “The contract imposition was a rash and ill thought-out move that is unfair on junior doctors and bad for the long term delivery of patient care. Our judicial review is aimed at the government’s failure to conduct a proper equality impact assessment that they should have carried out prior to taking this action.”


Health tourists cost UK taxpayers nearly £6billion in eight years –