Calls to scrap ‘immoral’ NHS fee for foreign staff

Medical associations are dismayed at the plans by Boris Johnson to charge foreign staff who work in the NHS £625 a year to use the NHS, warning that it will worsen its staffing crisis.

The plan is to extend the health surcharge to nurses, doctors and other medical and ancillary staff who come to work in the NHS from EU27 countries. The Conservative party has announced that it is going to increase the surcharge from £400 to £625 a year for all non-EU migrant workers and extend it to all EU citizens who migrate to the UK after Brexit.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of Physicians have all criticised the plans as short-sighted and written to Johnson warning him that the move will prove counterproductive.

The Guardian reports that in a letter the medical associations tell the prime minister the NHS is already under strain with 100,000 vacancies “covering all professions”. They call for all healthcare staff to be exempted from “the pernicious” charge and say it expected “no less from whichever party forms the next UK government”.

Full story in The Guardian, 20 November 2019