The government plans to double the immigration health surcharge paid by temporary migrants to the UK.
The surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year. The discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.
The annual charge is paid by people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are seeking to live in the UK for 6 months or more to work, study or join family.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating surcharge payers. Projections suggest that the increased charges may provide around £220m extra every year, with this money going to NHS services.
Health Minister James O’Shaughnessy said:
Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but it is only right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability.
By increasing the surcharge so that it better reflects the actual costs of using health services, this government is providing an extra £220 million a year to support the NHS.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:
It is only right that people who come to the UK should contribute to the running of the NHS. The surcharge offers access to health care services that are far more comprehensive and at a much lower cost than many other countries.
The income generated goes directly to NHS services, helping to protect and sustain our world-class healthcare system for everyone who uses it.
The government plans to make the changes later this year in order to better reflect the actual costs to the NHS of treating those who pay the surcharge.