NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 19th March 2018.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the effect of the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment) Regulations 2017; and if he will publish an assessment of the effect of those regulations to date.

Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cases he is aware of where patients have been provided with access to cancer treatment as a result of the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment) Regulations 2017; and how many of those cases related to people who were (a) confirmed foreign nationals and (b) undocumented.

Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what powers he has to intervene in cases where long-term British residents are denied cancer care as a result of the introduction of the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment) Regulations 2017.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Following the commencement of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, in line with the continuing public sector equalities duty, and also recognising concerns that have been raised by stakeholders regarding the introduction of the amendment regulations, the Department committed in November 2017 to review the impact of the changes introduced by the amendment regulations.

The Department is currently working with arm’s length bodies and stakeholders to review the impact of the amendment regulations in respect of upfront charging, patient records, community services and non-NHS providers, with a particular focus on the extent to which there are any unintended consequences on delivery of care for the most vulnerable, and how any such unintended consequences could be addressed.

The Department will provide an update once the review is complete and will set out any further action that is considered necessary following the review.

The Department does not hold information on patients who have been provided with cancer treatment.

A British citizen who is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom is entitled to receive free NHS healthcare services as long as they can prove they are in the UK lawfully, adopted voluntary and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of his or her life for the time being, whether of short or long duration. This may also require the granting of Indefinite Leave to Remain status, if an individual arrives in the UK from outside of the European Economic Area.

All patients must be assessed against the test for ordinary residence in the UK which will determine whether a patient is ordinarily resident in the UK. If the patient is ordinarily resident in the UK they must not be individually charged.

It is the duty of the NHS providing treatment to establish if charges apply to people who are not ordinarily resident (‘overseas visitors’) for the services they provide and to make and recover any charges.

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