NHS fees to be scrapped for overseas health staff and care workers

Community Nurse in Patients Home

The IHS is a fee that foreign nationals have to pay to use the NHS.

"Now we need the Tory government to scrap the NHS surcharge altogether, build a fairer immigration system, and show a meaningful commitment to NHS and care workers - including paying them all at least the Real Living Wage".

The £400 surcharge remains in place for other categories of visa applicants and will increase to £624 in October, as planned.

It also includes independent health workers and social care workers.

Mr Blackford, the SNP Westminster leader, had challenged the Prime Minister over the Conservative policy at this week's Prime Ministers' Questions, at which point Mr Johnson continued to defend the charge.

"Every Thursday we go out and clap for our carers".

"Many of them are risking their lives for us", Sir Keir said.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister has asked officials at the Home Office and the Department for Health and Social Care to remove health and care workers from the surcharge "as soon as possible".


But Boris Johnson has rejected the calls.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Lord Patten said that the United Kingdom was dependent on "people who come from other countries" to staff care homes, adding that it "would be madness and wickedness not to recognise the contribution which these people are making".

They added: "As the PM said in the House of Commons, he has been thinking about this a great deal".

The Prime Minister's spokesperson said; "He has been a personal beneficiary of carers from overseas and understands the difficulties faced by our fantastic NHS staff".

"On the other hand we must look at the realities - this is a great national service, it's a national institution, it needs funding and those contributions actually help us to raise about £900 million, and it's very hard in the current circumstances to find alternative sources".

"Personally, I believe that politically courageous and sensible politicians have the ability to revisit positions and to put something right if it has gone wrong".

According to a recent Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) study, Indians make up one in 10 of all foreign-born doctors in the NHS and the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), which represents this group, is among the organisations campaigning against the "discriminatory" surcharge for some years now. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

"And I think the Prime Minister was right to underline that in what he said yesterday".

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