NHS fees to be scrapped for overseas health staff

The government has finally announced that NHS staff and care workers from overseas will no longer have to pay an extra charge towards the health service.

In a move that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has labelled ‘a victory for common decency’, the exemption, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked the Home Office and Department for Health and Social Care to sort out ‘as soon as possible’, will include all NHS workers, including porters and cleaners, as well as independent health workers and social care workers.

The announcement follows both increasing criticism of the government and a defence from ministers as to why an exemption had not been made. Johnson had told MPs in the commons on 20 May that he ‘understood the difficulties faced by our amazing NHS staff’, but said the government ‘must look at the realities’ of funding the NHS.

The health immigration surcharge on non-EU migrants is £400 per year and set to rise to £624 in October.

A spokesman for Johnson said: "The Prime Minister has been thinking about this a great deal. He has been a personal beneficiary of carers from abroad and understands the difficulties faced by our amazing NHS staff. The purpose of the NHS surcharge is to benefit the NHS, help to care for the sick and save lives. NHS and care workers from abroad who are granted visas are doing this already by the fantastic contribution which they make."

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.