The UK has hiked Health Surcharge for immigrants – students and short-term visitors to 400 pounds from the existing 200 pounds for health services. It is applicable to Indians as well. This decision has been taken in order to enhance the collection of funds for National Health Services.
Students from outside the EU and long terms visitors including from India will also have to pay 400 pounds as health surcharge. UK had introduced the surcharge in 2015, as quoted by the Media India EU. It is applicable for all visitors who are not from the EU and reside in the UK for 6 months or above to visit family members, study, or work.
Visitors will now have to pay 400 pounds as against the 200 pounds annually earlier. Students will have to pay 300 pounds as compared with the 150 pounds earlier. The increase in surcharge for immigrants will be applicable from 2018.
The increase in health surcharge comes even as Department of Health and Social Care in the UK plans to raise extra funds for NHS. It is funded by the government and is grappling with the scarcity of funds.
Caroline Nokes the Immigration Minister of UK said that it is appropriate that people arriving at the UK contribute to the NHS funds. The surcharge offers healthcare services access and these are really vast and offered at lesser costs when compared with several other nations.
The income generated by the surcharge directly reached the NHS services said the Immigration Minister. It assists to safeguard and sustain the global standards healthcare system for one and all, she added. The hike in health surcharge is estimated to generate additional 200 million pounds which will be utilized for services of eth NHS.