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Free Nhs Treatment

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to prevent those not ordinarily resident in the UK receiving free NHS treatment. [118342]

Entitlement to free national health service hospital treatment is based on residence in the United Kingdom: anyone deemed "ordinarily resident" in the UK should not be charged for their treatment, other than statutory charges, such as those for NHS prescriptions. The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989 set out the circumstances in which those not ordinarily resident should be charged for their treatment. It is for individual NHS trusts to apply the Regulations and establish whether a patient is eligible for free treatment. We will shortly be issuing revised guidance on the operation of the Regulations.