It is not possible to provide data of an estimate of the cost to the National Health Service of treating non-European Union citizens during the year 2015-16 as patient nationality is not reported by NHS provider trusts.
An independent report by prederi, entitled Quantitative Assessment of Visitor and Migrant Use of the NHS in England: Exploring the Data was commissioned by the Department to better understand the impact of treating visitors and migrants and was published on 22 October 2013. A copy of this report is attached
The Department has been collecting data on the amounts recovered from patients subject to the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 that have been directly charged for their treatment. These relate to invoices raised in current and previous years.
Figures for financial year 2015-2016 are shown in the table below:
Income recognised this year
Cash payments received in-year (relating to invoices raised in current and previous years) 2015-16
Source: NHS Trust and NHS Foundation Trust Annual Accounts 2015/16
We do not recover costs directly from patients covered by the terms of the reciprocal healthcare agreements that the United Kingdom has with certain non-EEA countries. The terms of the reciprocal healthcare agreements allow for each country to absorb the cost of providing immediately necessary and urgent care provided to visitors between those countries.
Under the terms of the Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004, other EEA member states and Switzerland reimburse the UK for healthcare treatment provided to the citizens for whom they are responsible. Reimbursement is contingent on the NHS frontline identifying patients for whom we can recover costs and reporting the necessary information.
All EEA countries, including the UK, have a legal obligation to pay agreed claims relating to healthcare treatment provided. Once both sides are satisfied that such claims are accurate, they are paid in full.
In October 2014, the Department introduced a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) incentive, meaning NHS provider trusts would be paid an additional 25% of all EHIC activity they correctly record. This has led to a significant improvement in collection of EHICs as shown in the table below:
October 2013- September 2014
October 2014- September 2015
European Health Insurance Card (Volumes)
European Health Insurance Card (Amounts)
Source: Department of Work and Pensions Overseas Healthcare Team.