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Overseas patients to be charged upfront

6th February 2017

NHS hospitals could refuse foreign patients operations unless their costs are covered in advance.


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MIKHAN KHAN

Tuesday 7th February 2017 @ 18:53

Sir,

As stated by the MPs on the Public Accounts Committee, the system for recovering costs from foreign visitors is really "chaotic". Take, for instance, the case of the Nigerian woman whose treatment bill ran up to GBP 330,000 and she is NOT able to pay it. As pointed out by Dr. Meirion Thomas, the plan of treating the foreign patients and invoicing them for payment is really a "smokescreen". For, first, such a patient may really be not able to pay; secondly, even if some such patients are capable of paying, most of them would likely ignore the matter to say money; and third, for the Trust/Hospital it will certainly be goose-chase trying to recover the invoice amount. There seems to be no ready-made remedy to this ailment but, perhaps, one is to ask a foreign visitor to prove that he has a certain amount worth of Health and Travel insurance.


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