Skip to main content

NHS Treatment

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many British taxpayers were charged for NHS treatment due to residency outside the UK for more than 6 months of the year in each year since 2000; how much revenue was raised from such charges; what criteria were used in deciding to apply such charges; and if she will make a statement. (80421)

Entitlement to access free national health service hospital treatment is based on whether someone is ordinarily resident in this country, not on British nationality or the past or present payment of National Insurance contributions or United Kingdom taxes. Anyone who is not ordinarily resident is subject to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended. These regulations place a responsibility on NHS hospitals to establish whether a person is ordinarily resident, or exempt from charges under one of a number of exemption categories, or liable for charges.

Anyone who lives outside this country for more than 6 months is no longer automatically entitled to free NHS hospital treatment as they will not be considered ordinarily resident here. They will therefore be liable to charges unless they return to the UK to resume their permanent residency, or if they are exempt under another exemption category.

Successive Governments have not required the NHS to provide statistics on the number of overseas visitors seen or treated under the provisions of these regulations or on the costs of treatment. It is therefore not possible to provide the information requested.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were treated by the NHS for wounds caused by (a) a knife, (b) a dagger, (c) a sword, (d) other types of bladed article and (e) a firearm in each year since 1997; what proportion of the victims were (i) male and (ii) female in each category in each year; and how many in each category in each year were admitted as emergency cases. (79600)