So, now we know how much it actually costs.
Immigrants with unpaid NHS bills could be excluded from Britain under proposals aimed at reducing foreign healthcare tourism.
The Department of Health is trying to recover £22 million from foreign nationals who have had NHS treatment in the past two years and not paid their bills.
At one level it’s a significant sum. £ 10 million or so spondoolicks a year is real money.
At another level it ain’t. At something like £100 billion a year spent on the NHS £10 million is, umm, let’s see if I can get the right number of zeroes here…..0.001% of the system cost.
Perhaps somewhere a little above the amount spent on wipes for surgeons’ fevered brows in operating theatres and very much below the amount pissed away on outreach diversity workers.
No, I don’t advocate not pursuing them for the money: but it does mean that NHS tourism as a political bugbear ought to be waaaay down the list, somewhere around the importance of whether Sarah and Samantha prefer being on top or not.
You know, something that’s irrelevant.