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Health Tourism?


observer
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Interesting prog on BBC 's Panorama tonight, about immigrants accessing free treatment on the NHS. Seems no systems exist or are practised to ensure folk are entitled to free NHS treatment and it's costing us (BRITISH taxpayers) an absolute fortune, at a time of NHS cuts, job losses etc. All the Minister could say (repeatedly) was - " of course it's a complicated situation, but we're having a review" and actually suggested that "British" people would be offended if asked to provide proof of identity when registaring with a GP or Hospital - sorry luv, but I wouldn't. So in effect, our NHS isn't really an NHS, it's an International Health Service paid for by British taxpaying Nationals. Seems we're totally incapable of introducing systems to ensure money is spent where intended and geared against fraud; again the UK clearly shown as a global joke. :angry:

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I would like to know how they get the free NHS treatment. A friend had a little son with a hole in his heart, two holes actually, and he was desperately seeking help from any hospital in the UK. This was a little lad of 3 years old but was shown no compassion from any of the hospitals who were asking around 50,000 pounds up front to see him and maybe operate on his heart. On top of that would have been the cost of flight and accomodation in UK. Note I said had a little son.

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I think the key here is that your friend asked in advance. Perhaps if they had just shown up at A & E they would have got the treatment for nothing.

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It seems the gateway is to get registered with a GP. The "rules" used to require "proof of ID" on application, but have been changed (by this gov) to allow anyone to register, hospitals tend not to check a GP referal; there were also fraudsters prepared to get European Insurance cards online, all using fake names , addresses, NI numbers etc; these E-cards allow health care anywhere in the EU, costs being claimed back by host countries from the NHS; which showed some huge accounting disparities, between what was being claimed from us, and what we were claiming from them. As I said, sloppy Governance by politicians and bearocrats in the UK, has turned us into the toilet paper of the world - and we're paying taxes for the privilage. :angry:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't read the article ,just seen the headline, but apparently the EU are advising foreign health tourists to sue the NHS if they are refused treatment .What puzzles me though is why i & my fellow Brits have to take out expensive travel insurance when travelling abroad in the EU to cover any health cost that the insurance company cannot wriggle out of. The playing field is definitely not level.

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Get yourself a European Health Insurance Card from the DoH. This entitles you to health care in EU countries as an NHS "customer".

 

EHIC

 

My employer insists on us carrying this in case of illness when abroad.

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Get yourself a European Health Insurance Card from the DoH. This entitles you to health care in EU countries as an NHS "customer".

 

EHIC

 

My employer insists on us carrying this in case of illness when abroad.

 

We always carry ours!.

 

Learn about the EHIC and apply now

 

 

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006.

 

Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.

 

The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland. For more information about what is covered in each country see our country-by-country guide.

 

You can apply for a free EHIC online.

 

The EHIC is entirely free of charge. However, other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them.

 

If you're having difficulties with the online application form, you want to update your personal details or replace a lost or stolen card, call the automated EHIC application service on 0845 606 2030.

 

I dont think it covers you for transportation home in the event of immobility though?

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The EHIC system supposed to be reciprocal and based on a standard rate of costs. However, the amount being claimed against NHS by foreign countries appears to exceed the amount we are due from them. Now this could mean we have more ex-pat claimants or it could mean the NHS is being over-charged by foreign Governments. As for the "entitlement" to free access by foreigners, that just shows how foreigners have adapted the slogan "rip off Britain" - and it's they who are ripping us off. :angry:

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You are probably right Obs, as countries like Nigeria have not yet become part of the EU (but give them time..........)

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Yes we have got a health card each although we have never used it yet.Having seen a bit more of that story it seems to be talking about all UK government benefits to be available to all Euro citizens or the EU will sue the UK .

 

By the way, the name on the Health card in the illustration looks like an anglicised foreign name...they are everywhere !

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Yes we have got a health card each although we have never used it yet.Having seen a bit more of that story it seems to be talking about all UK government benefits to be available to all Euro citizens or the EU will sue the UK .

 

By the way, the name on the Health card in the illustration looks like an anglicised foreign name...they are everywhere !

 

I'm sure it is WD, it's certainly not mine. :wink::D

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No Kije, it's worse than that; GPs and Hospitals have been told to provide free health services to all comers, incl non-EU folk. It's not as if they had any adequate checks anyway and the HR lawyers are now well into this one, with threats to sue the NHS for withholding treatment to foreigners - yer couldn't make it up. :angry:

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