Papers for Prescriptions, Please

By Gary Cutlack on at

The NHS may soon require one or two forms of ID to be shown before receiving some kinds of treatments, as part of moves that want to help our healthcare trusts reclaim the costs of treatment given to overseas visitors.

The Department of Health's Chris Wormald made the claim at a Commons committee, saying that some trusts already ask for ID but that this could be utilised on a much bigger scale to offset some of the losses caused by people coming here to attempt so-called health tourism. Wormald said: "We have some trusts that are looking at asking for two forms of ID before treatment. Now that is obviously quite a controversial thing to do but... those are the kinds of things we want to look at."

Doctors are already reacting with fury to the news, labelling it a disgusting ruse and saying they'd refuse to take the time out to check someone's ID before taking care of their needs.

It doesn't seem to be that big an issue, either. The National Audit Office says that some £500m should've been billed to overseas patients in the year to 2016, but only £289m was called in. Hardly a huge loss in the overall scheme of the NHS. [BBC]

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