'The Home Secretary is desperately reaching for answers' with NHS passport scheme, says Caroline Flint MP

'The Home Secretary's desperately reaching for answers' with NHS passport scheme, says Caroline Flint MP

Caroline Flint

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Caroline Flint MP has expressed skepticism over the proposal of presenting passports in order to receive NHS treatment. 

The plans being examined by the Department of Health would ensure patients would need to present two forms of ID to gain care within the NHS. 

Flint, the MP for Don Valley and former Public Health Minister, said it was "fair to identify" the areas of the NHS which deserve to be repaid by governments of foreign citizens, but presenting the passport wasn't necessarily the way to do it.

"Our system operates on the basis that if someone has an emergency, they are treated, no questions asked," she told Sam Delaney. "What was interesting is the establishment that the NHS has not been recovering what it should do from people from overseas who used our NHS.

"It sounds to me the Home Secretary is reaching out desperately for answers. I'm not sure passports are the answer because everyone has a passport.

"Our NHS today - what we expect from it and what it could do -  is something we need to have a big discussion about. At the same time, it's fair to identify the areas where we should be getting money back.

"In the big scheme of things, it's about the NHS works and its efficiency and how fairly it is used."