PM pressed on promise to scrap NHS fee for foreign health staff

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Sir Keir Starmer has pressed Boris Johnson on when concrete changes will be made to scrap the immigration health surcharge for NHS and care workers.

The Prime Minister announced last month that he would drop the fee, which foreign nationals are required to pay to use the NHS, for those who work in the sector in light of their contribution to the coronavirus crisis.

But the Labour leader told MPs during PMQs today that since that announcement on May 21, “nothing has happened”.

He highlighted the case of one doctor who has been required to pay £6,000 to cover his wife, four children and himself, adding that reportedly the Home Office told the man “nothing has been implemented”.

Sir Keir challenged: “These are people on the front line. The Prime Minister said he would act. When is he going to do so?”

Mr Johnson replied: “It is vital people who are working on the front line and NHS workers in particular get the support they need.

“That’s why I said what I said a few weeks ago and what I can tell him is NHS or care workers who have paid the surcharge since May 21 will be refunded and we’re getting on with instituting the new arrangements as fast as we possibly can.”

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