NHS obtains funding due to increase in Immigration Health Surcharges

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Last month, the Home Office announced that the NHS could potentially receive an additional 220million pounds in funding due to a plan proposed to Parliament that doubles the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

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Should parliament approve, the proposed increase would be effective from December 2018.

Nationals holding work, study, or family visas that exceed 6 months are able to access NHS services through the IHS; not unlike UK citizens.

For Non-EU nationals, the proposed plan will see the surcharge double from £200 to £400 each year. Students and Youths on the YMS (youth mobility scheme) would be offered the discounted rate of £300 per year.

Caroline Nokes, the Immigration Minister, said: “Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but the NHS is a national, not international health service and we believe it is right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability.”

Since its introduction in 2015, the surcharge has raised over £600 million.

The health ministries in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have invested the funds raised from the surcharge back into their health budgets.

The proposed surcharges are expected to be a better reflection of the actual cost used to treat the nationals who are paying the surcharge. The DHSC estimates that the NHS spends approximately £470 per person, per year on average for treatments.

“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.” Said Nokes.

The proposed increased surcharge will not affect permanent residents, or vulnerable groups (such as asylum seekers and modern slavery victims), as they are not required to pay the surcharge.

Presently, the NHS charges nationals on short-term visas and visitor visas for secondary care treatment.

“I am pleased that we are a step closer to implementing the changes to the health surcharge, and the extra money raised will go directly towards sustaining and protecting our world-class healthcare system.” stated Nokes.

If you have any questions about how this surcharge increase will affect you, please speak to our OISC registered UK migration consultants.