The government maintained that those foreigners travelling to the UK who owe debts to the National Health Service (NHS) will be denied entry into Britain. Also, any of the failed asylum-seekers not co-operating with the authorities shall be refused UK health care.
To implement this move, the UK Health Department has stated that consultations will be held on the issue whether overseas visitors to the UK need to have health insurance before beginning their journey or not.
It is yet to be ascertained the exact amount spent by the NHS every year on providing UK health care services to overseas visitors from outside Australia, New Zealand and the EU.
The above stated steps, if implemented, would result in a saving between £6m and £20m over the period of five years.
The UK ministers reiterated that they felt determined to deter health tourists from gaining entering into Britain. The health minister, Mike O’Brien, said that the NHS was not meant to be an international health service providing free access of UK health care to all.
Meanwhile, the proposals for UK health care for foreigners would not be applicable on treatment of any infectious diseases and emergency health care which would be free for everyone.
The anticipated move by the UK Health Department is being welcomed by the British Medical Association (BMA). An official spokesman for the BMA said it accepts the fact that the NHS has only limited resources and needs to extend UK health care services to those only who have eligibility to receive them.
The BMA spokesman also added that it seeks assurance from the Department of Health that in case of genuine health care need by the patients, doctors will have the jurisdiction of providing required health care services to the patients, notwithstanding the immigration status of the patient.
The new UK health care measures likely to be introduced in the coming times are being condemned by the human rights organizations.