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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

St George’s Hospital in Tooting is reportedly trying to recoup over £8m from health tourists.

A Daily Mail investigation suggests overseas patients have left the NHS with £150m in unpaid bills.

Overseas visitors must now be asked for passports and utility bills, and given invoices before treatment starts.

A spokesman for the Department of Health says it’s “only right” overseas visitors contribute towards their treatment costs.

Speaking to us in May, St George’s said care is never refused to those who need it and all patients are entitled to free emergency care 24/7.

But it also said it has a legal duty to recover costs from patients who are not entitled to free NHS treatment.

A St George's spokesperson said:

We have a legal duty to recover costs from patients who are not entitled to free NHS treatment.

Any patient not entitled to free NHS care must be charged for treatment they receive unless an exemption applies.

All patients are entitled to free emergency care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Any other care – including maternity services – is chargeable.

Our staff are not asked to act as borders guards; nor do we ever refuse care or treatment to patients who need it.

Patients are politely asked by our administrative staff to provide proof of ID, so enabling us to fulfil our legal duty in relation to charging.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 1:08 pm  

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