Foreign visitors to UK must have private health insurance

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Ensuring foreign visitors pay for their healthcare needs while in the UK is plainly a good idea. But new government plans to bill migrants who turn up at A&E appear as ill thought-out as most of their other proposals.

Already the NHS Overseas Visitors’ Office is supposed to recoup health costs from overseas visitors but only 16% of the estimated £2b. annual costs is actually clawed back.

So how in reality will this new plan work? Will overworked A&E medics actually turn away sick but penniless patients? It is wrong to expect them to act as border staff.

Our country should insist on all foreign visitors having private health insurance which would be a condition of entry. This is the most effective and fairest way of dealing with the problem.

Paul Nuttall

UKIP North-West MEP