The scandal of Health Tourism has been around for a long time. When the NHS was founded there was a scandal reported that pregnant mums from the United States of America would fly to the UK to give birth as this was cheaper than pay the fees to give birth back home in the US.
However, the scale of todays problem, as reported on Panorama (3rd October BBC) and in the national press, is absolutely shocking. Here at the Retired Peoples Club we try to avoid taking any political sides but appeal to the current government to fix this as a matter of national urgency.
The solution cannot be that difficult
1) Treat everyone in a ctitical state until they are stable, whether they have proof of entitlement or not.
2) Require sight of documents such as a Passport, Driving Licence, Pension Book, P60 and utility bills to prove identity and residency in the UK before providing any non urgent treatment or GP Services.
If foreign nationals work and pay tax in the UK, then of course they should get treatment, but if they do not pay tax in the UK, then why should they get treatment without paying?
The NHS is not free, all UK Citizens that pay tax fund this service. We struggle to maintain a National Health Service for the UK as it is, we can't afford to provide an InterNational Heath Service for the whole world!
Our greatest concern is over the view expressed by Anna Soubry (health minister) who believes 'honest tax paying UK citizens would be offended if asked to provide ID to get treatment'. Quite the contrary – RPClub believes most UK people would rather prove their entitlement and see the millions, if not billions of Pounds saved, used to reduce waiting times and provide new treatments.
Tell us what you think, leave a comment below.