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Health Services: Overseas Visitors

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his latest estimate is of the cost to the NHS of unrecovered fees chargeable to those not entitled to free NHS health care receiving treatment (a) in Accident and Emergency departments and (b) as in-patients in the last three years. (207206)

Under the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended, treatment provided in accident and emergency departments is free of charge to all people.

Successive Governments have not required the national health service to submit statistics on the number of overseas visitors treated or charged under these regulations, nor any costs involved. It is therefore not possible to provide an estimate of the cost to the NHS of unrecovered fees from those people provided with in-patient treatment who are not entitled to free NHS health care.