‘We failed to charge’ for NHS treating Europeans
EUROPEANS obtain treatment for free on the NHS because Britain had “not got our act together”, the Health Secretary admitted yesterday.
But Jeremy Hunt claimed that new incentives for Trusts to claw back cash from other countries has meant “significant increases” in money reclaimed.
Britain paid European countries more than £670million to treat British citizens in the year to April 2015 but got back just under £50million.
When challenged by MPs over the imbalance, Mr Hunt said: “The answer, regrettably, is for many years we have not got our act together.
“That’s why I have changed the system of incentives for Trusts to make sure that they get a premium for identifying EU nationals that they treat, that we can then recharge the treatment to their home countries.
“We are, as a result, seeing significant increases now in the amount of money we’re reclaiming from other countries.”
Health Minister Jane Ellison said 80 per cent of the imbalance is down to British expats.