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UK Govt Scraps NHS Health Tourism Crackdown After Left Cries ‘Racism’

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VIRGINIA HALE

The British government has quietly dropped plans to tackle abuse of the country’s National Health Service (NHS) by foreigners not entitled to free care after pressure from left-liberal activists, according to reports.

A Mail on Sunday investigation found that government ministers have “all but abandoned” plans to crack down on “health tourism”, which would have seen patients required to show their passport and a British address, proving they are eligible for taxpayer-funded healthcare before being allowed to access expensive treatments.

Hospitals would also have been required to charge people who were not eligible for free care upfront under the proposals, now apparently shelved by the Conservative Party government despite its promise to get a grip on health tourists costing taxpayers up to £280 million each year.

Eighteen NHS trusts across the country ran pilots of the plans in 2017, but a follow-up from journalists at the Mail revealed that, after the three months of the scheme were up, the majority of trusts scrapped the eligibility checks.

Some health trusts, including England’s biggest, Barts Health — which was owed £20 million in unpaid bills for treatment in 2018 — initially attempted to continue the scheme before dropping it as a result of leftists engaging in activities such as tearing down posters which said “NHS hospital treatment is not free for everyone”, according to the Mail report.

Despite their apparent success in pushing the Government to shelve checks, campaign groups seem to only have become bolder in their determination to enable health tourism in the United Kingdom and to promote “healthcare without borders” at the expense of heavily-taxed British people.

Speaking at last week’s launch of ‘Patients Not Passports’, an online “toolkit” set up by groups demanding NHS treatment in effect be made free-of-charge to everyone in the world, health spokesman for the Unite union Colenzo Jarrett Thorpe claimed the socialised British healthcare service was a global project, only made possible through mass immigration.

“Our NHS was built on immigration. People came from all over the world to build our NHS. It would not have been possible,” he claimed.

“We must resist these pernicious laws that promote the hostile environment policies. We must be part of the large scale opposition that can beat these attacks on migrants and asylum seekers,” Thorpe added.

Asserting that left-liberal hospital staff should remember NHS costs are paid for with “taxpayers’ money — not theirs”, Tory MP Nigel Evans told the Mail: “We rightly fund the NHS for our citizens, but we can’t afford to fund an international health service available to everyone.”

“If people know we’re not really making any checks, we will continue to be a destination for them to come to.”

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