Immigration health surcharge increase could generate £220m for NHS
Friday 2nd November 2018
The NHS could receive an estimated £220 million in extra funding under plans put before parliament to double the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The increase, subject to Parliamentary approval, is set to come into effect in December 2018.
Who pays the IHS?
The IHS allows anyone in the UK on work, student or family visas for longer than six months to access NHS services in the same way as UK citizens.
If approved, the surcharge will increase from £200 to £400 per year for non-EU nationals. Students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will be on the discounted rate of £300 per year.
Since its introduction in 2015, the surcharge has raised over £600m which has been invested back into health budgets.
Average NHS spending per person is higher than IHS
The Department of Health and Social Care estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating those required to pay the surcharge.
Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, commented:
"It is only fair that people who come to the UK make a contribution to the running of the NHS, and even with the increase we still continue to offer a good deal on healthcare for those seeking to live in the UK temporarily."
These changes do not affect permanent residents, who are not required to pay the surcharge. Certain vulnerable groups, such as asylum seekers, are also exempt.
Short-term migrants, including those on visitor visas, are generally charged for secondary care treatment by the NHS at the point of access.
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