UK urged to scrap healthcare fee for migrant NHS workers
May 22, 2020 12:38 pm
A medical worker is seen through a door to the Critical Care Unit at The Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in East Lancashire, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Blackburn. [Source: Aljazeera]
Anger is growing towards the British government over its refusal to exempt overseas NHS workers.
Many of whom are currently putting their lives at risk on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, from paying a fee for healthcare.
While doctors, nurses and paramedics have been granted a one-year exemption from the charge amid the pandemic, those working in lower-paid roles such as hospital cleaners, porters and carers must still pay.
The annual fee is currently 400 pounds and will rise to 624 pounds in October – a high sum for people earning the minimum wage.
It must be paid regardless of whether individuals use the healthcare service.
It currently applies to people from outside the European Economic Area, but will include European migrants after the Brexit transition period ends.