A number of National Health Service workers and carers are still being charged an annual fee of £400 in order to have access to health service.
Despite the promise which was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to axe the fees “as soon as possible”, most migrant healthcare workers have been paying.
The Prime Minister made a remarkable reversal last month stating that the £400 annual fee paid by the non-EU migrants to access the National Health Service – adding to the mounting visa costs – should be scrapped for all health and care workers. However, the Doctors` Association UK ushered a poll which revealed that 158 NHS workers still have to pay for health immigration surcharge, while only eight are not.
A spokesperson of the Doctors` Association UK, Dr Dolin Bhagawati, said: “These workers are paying up to four times over for the NHS – through their service, taxes, this surcharge and in some tragic cases with their lives.
“It is not too much to ask that this government does the honourable thing: stop this extortion and scrap this charge as soon as possible for NHS and care workers as well as for their dependants.”
He added: “The utter failure to follow through on this promise is an insult to our colleagues who have served this country during our time of need.”
The Royal College of Nursing pleaded with the prime minister in writing that all the health and care workers will be exempt from the charge permanently, including those employed in the NHS, independent settings as well as the social care sector.
They also asked for approval that the spouses and dependents of health and care workers will also be exempt and that health and care staff that have paid the charge in advance will be refunded.