'Migrant health levy' planned for overseas students

International students coming to the UK could have to pay at least £200 a year to use the National Health Service under plans unveiled by the government.

July 3, 2013

A consultation released today says that the NHS “cannot continue as an international rather than a national health service” and is “very generous” to those living overseas.

“Our current system…attracts ‘health tourists’ - people who take advantage of our current generous entitlements and are able to avoid detection or payment,” it says.

The consultation proposes to charge anyone from outside the EU who is in the UK for up to five years, which would include students.

The “migrant health levy” would be collected on entry to the country, although could be waived if the migrant has private health insurance.

The consultation says the levy should be at least £200 a year.  

Daniel Stevens, international students’ officer at the National Union of Students, Tweeted that he hoped to see “at least one week of policy announcements that aren’t detrimental to international students”.

However, the consultation does leave the door open for students to be charged less than other groups. In asking respondents for their views on how high the charge should be, it says the “wider economic value of students” can be taken into account.

The levy “might vary for different groups,” it adds.

Student visitors, who stay for less than six months, will continue to be charged at the point of use when they use the NHS.  

The consultation says that the problem of health tourism is “significant” but has launched an audit to see exactly how much of a drain it is.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 10 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Reader's comments (1)

This shows excellent, cross-goverment, thinking on how to muck up international student recruitment. It appears that the Home Office ministers have run oput of new things to make up, now that they've issued sufficient numbers of statements saying all the new measures are working. That means opening new lines of assault. Bonds, in case people don't go back. A health tax in case they get sick. Perhaps there's scope for further action: what about the other departments of government?

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Elly Walton illustration (7 July 2016)

Researchers in the liberal arts seem to have made it their mission to communicate in the most obscure fashion, says Zachary Foster

Daniel Mitchell illustration (14 July 2016)

Frank Furedi says the mournful mood on campus and the disparagement and silencing of Leave supporters betray an isolated scholarly class

Michael Parkin illustration (7 July 2016)

Rising immigration-related costs and lack of employer support send an unwelcoming message to international staff, says Jason Danely

Female Brazilian football/soccer fan celebrating with flag of Brazil, Best universities in Latin America

Brazil leads Times Higher Education’s debut ranking of the top universities in Latin America

Child drives miniature car into people

Smaller, newer alternative providers are less likely to pass higher education review, analysis says