Love it or hate it, if you are a resident of the UK then you have access to the National Health Service. While it may not be a perfect system, it is superior to most country’s healthcare systems and for the most part it gets the job done.
With an enviable national healthcare system it is no wonder so many foreign individuals wind up on the UK doorstep looking for medical care. It is estimated that the NHS spends about £2billion a year treating foreign visitors and temporary migrants. If you are a compassionate human being it is easy to see why it would be hard to turn these people away if they don’t have a better option. But if you are a British tax payer and the cost of treating these foreign individuals is coming out of your taxes then it’s easy to see that this is a problem that needs to be fixed.
There is no clear cut solution to the problem, but there have been some ideas. The first being remembering to charge people that should pay! This is easier said than done, are hospital receptionists expected to ask anyone with an accent if they are a resident? Or should they turn people away unless they can present a valid visa? The second idea is to crack down on health tourists, which are individuals that travel to the UK with the purpose of receiving free medical care. Once again, this is easier said than done, in a lot of cases it is pregnant women who travel to the UK to give birth. Any person with half a soul is not going to turn away a woman in labour.
While there may not be a clear answer to this problem, it’s fair to say this problem is not fair on the British tax payers. They pay enough as it is for their NHS, they shouldn’t have to be paying for foreign visitors too.