Making sure migrants contribute to the NHS

James Brokenshire has welcomed the introduction of the Migrant Health Surcharge on 6 April, which will recoup up to £1.7 billion over the next ten years to help pay for the cost of NHS treatment given to temporary migrants.

From 6 April, nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) coming to the UK for longer than six months will be required to pay a ‘health surcharge’ when they make their immigration application. It will also be paid by non-EEA nationals already in the UK who apply to extend their stay.

Migrants coming to work, study or join family members currently receive free NHS treatment in the same way as a permanent resident. The changes, part of the Immigration Act which became law last year, will ensure that migrants make a proper financial contribution to the cost of their NHS care.

The health surcharge will be £200 per year and £150 per year for students, payable upfront and for the total period of time for which migrants are given permission to stay in the UK.

Commenting ahead of the implementation of the policy, James said:

“The health surcharge will play a vital role in ensuring Britain’s most cherished public service is provided on a basis that is fair to all who use it. For generations, the British public have paid their taxes to help make the NHS what it is today – the surcharge will mean temporary migrants will also pay their way.”

“Our health services will still be available to all those who need them, but now people coming from outside the EEA will make a fair contribution to the costs of healthcare incurred by temporary migrants living in the UK.”