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Health tourism charges come into force in England

From BBC - October 22, 2017

Providers of NHS treatment are required from Monday to make sure patients in England are eligible for free care - and to charge them up front if not.

The measures apply to planned, non-urgent care - A&E, maternity, general practice and infectious disease treatment remain free to all.

The government hopes it will contribute to 22bn of savings needed in the NHS.

But the British Medical Association said the changes may prevent vulnerable people getting treatment they need.

Under the new measures, patients will be asked where they have lived in the last six months.

If they have lived abroad, they will be asked to show documentation that they are entitled to free NHS care, such as a non-UK European Health Insurance Card.

Hospitals and other parts of the NHS are also required to flag when a patient should be charged so that providers elsewhere within the health service can more easily recoup costs.

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