22.05.20

NHS fees scrapped for overseas health staff and care workers

Following pressure from MPs, NHS staff and care workers from overseas are set to be exempt from paying an extra charge towards the health service.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the PM had requested the Home Office and Department of Health and Social Care looked to exempt NHS and care workers “as soon as possible.”

At present, there is a health immigration surcharge on non-EU migrants of £400 per year, which is set to rise to £624 per year in October.

After backlash to the fee, officials are said to now be working on the details of the amendments to the surcharge, including the plans for an exemption for all NHS workers, including porters and cleaners, as well as independent health workers and social care workers.

The spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: "[The PM] 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."

The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated exempting NHS and social care workers in England will cost around £90m a year.

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