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NHS Treatment for Overseas Patients inquiry


People who are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom are not charged for NHS hospital services. Statutory regulations place hospital trusts under a legal obligation to identify and recover charges from overseas visitors who are not exempt from paying for treatment.

In July 2014, the Department of Health set an ambition to recover, by the middle of this Parliament, £500 million annually from improving identification and recovery from chargeable patients, and from introducing a new immigration health surcharge. This represents a substantial increase from the amount of £73 million recovered in 2012–13.

National Audit Office report

The NAO are producing a report on this issue, to be published shortly, and the work will examine the progress the Department and NHS are making to increase the amount identified and recovered from those overseas patients who are not entitled to free treatment.

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
37th Report - NHS treatment for overseas patients
Inquiry NHS Treatment for Overseas Patients inquiry
HC 771

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
21 November 2016
Inquiry NHS Treatment for Overseas Patients inquiry
Witnesses Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary, and David Williams, Director General, Finance Group Operations, Department of Health, and Bob Alexander, Executive Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive NHS Improvement.
Oral Evidence
Global Recovery Alliance (TOP0011)
Department of Health (TOP0010)
Royal College of General Practitioners (TOP0009)

Contact us

  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 5776 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 8480 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA