Queen's Speech 2016: Legislation to restrict free NHS access for migrants

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Queen's Speech 2016: Legislation to restrict free NHS access for migrants

Legislation will be introduced to ensure that overseas visitors pay for the health treatment they receive in the UK, the 2016 Queen's Speech announced today.

NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill will include Tighter residency rules meaning that fewer visitors from the European Economic Area will be able to access free health care

Documents accompanying the Queen's Speech said the purpose of the Bill is to recover costs from migrants who use the NHS by extending the rules on charging migrants and overseas visitors for NHS treatment, to ensure that only UK residents - who live here lawfully and make a financial contribution to this country - will get free NHS care.

Measures will be introduced to "ensure cost recovery is effective and efficient and the full cost of care is recovered and can be put back into the NHS."

The Bill will extend the number of services for which the NHS can charge overseas visitors and migrants.

Fewer people coming to the UK from the EEA are eligible for free NHS healthcare.

The documents said that further details will be brought forward when the Bill is published. Not yet clear whether this applies to the entire UK.

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