The Home Office has doubled the charge migrants pay to use the NHS.
The standard Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) will today double from £200 to £400 a year, a sum the Home Office says will bring much-needed funds to the National Health Service.
But controversially, migrant nurses and allied healthcare staff working in the NHS and delivering direct care to patients are among those who must pay the £400-a-year charge.
Migrant workers are still subject to the charge even if they are already working and paying taxes.
There are no changes that impact permanent residents, who are not required to pay the surcharge, or to vulnerable groups such as asylum seekers who are also exempt.
‘No longer welcome’.
The Royal College of Nursing has called on the Government to waive the Immigration Health Surcharge for non-EEA nursing staff.
Dame Donna Kinnair, Acting RCN Chief Executive, previously said: “These nurses already contribute financially through National Insurance and taxation, not to mention the work they do to care for us and our loved ones.
“These fees can tear families apart, separating mother from child. Our health services depend on professionals from around the world, but the Government has now signalled they are no longer welcome.”
Adding; “The very people who deliver health care should be the last people to have to pay spiralling extra charges for it. We will continue the fight to have these charges waived for nursing staff.”