The measures, to be announced by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and put out for consultation, aim to crackdown on the illegitimate use of free healthcare services by non-British residents. They include a “healthcare levy” on those staying more than six months, while those visiting Britain for less than six months will no longer be able to see a GP without charges.
Mr Hunt said: “We are a national health service, not an international health service, and I am determined to wipe out abuse in the system. The NHS is a national treasure and we need to work to develop plans and make sure it is sustainable for years to come.”
The Department of Health is also to announce a registration and tracking system for chargeable visitors before they join a GPs’ surgery. The move is thought to be designed to close so-called “NHS tourism” loopholes that allow non-eligible immigrants access to care without being identified or charged.