A Parliamentary Question from John Mann MP has revealed that the UK paid out £674 million to European countries for their health costs last year – but received only £49 million in return.
The huge discrepancy was revealed in a Department for Health response to the Bassetlaw MP. Notable figures include:
UK pays France: £147,685,772 France pays UK: £6,730,292
UK pays Germany: £25,873,954 Germany pays UK: £2,189,664
UK pays Italy: £7,304,484 Italy pays UK £1,510,850
UK pays Poland: £4,336,701 Poland pays UK £1,523,402
UK pays Spain: £223,290,021 Spain pays UK £3,412,338
John Mann MP commented:
“Sorting this scandal out in itself would transform the financial situation of the NHS. This is a shambolic state of affairs and we are being played for fools. “
“This is money that should directly be going into the NHS and it would make a huge annual difference to its finances.”
Notes to Editors
John Mann MP is available for further comment:
T: 0207 219 8345
The question and full response from the Department of Health is below:
Health Services: Foreign Nationals:Written question - 27365
Asked by John Mann <https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/KbNnBh3vVkAuR>
Asked on: 19 February 2016
Department of Health
Health Services: Foreign Nationals
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much was recharged to (a) other EU countries and (b) non-EU countries for health treatment by the NHS in 2015.
Answered by: Alistair Burt <https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/eJpZBuenxMWfM>
Answered on: 29 February 2016
An updated version of the ‘guidance on implementing the overseas visitor hospital charging regulations’ was issued to National Health Service bodies on 1 February 2016. This guidance explains what should happen when an overseas visitor, including from the European Economic Area (EEA) needs NHS treatment provided by an NHS hospital in England.
The Department on behalf of the United Kingdom Government reimburses other EEA countries and Switzerland for the cost of providing treatment to people we are responsible for under European Union law, irrespective of nationality. In the same way, other EEA countries and Switzerland reimburse the UK for the cost of the NHS providing treatment to people they are responsible for under EU law, including UK nationals insured in another EEA country or Switzerland.
The table below provides information about how much the UK paid to other EEA countries and Switzerland, and how much was paid to the UK for NHS provided treatments. Visitors from other countries are charged directly for their healthcare.
EEA Medical Costs Member State Claims (against UK)UK Claims (against EEA, Switzerland)
Czech Republic£617,758 £471,140
Denmark (Waiver)N/A N/A
Estonia (Waiver)N/A £154,928
Finland (Waiver)£10,047 £243,740
Source: Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) exercise. Totals are based on estimates of the costs of European Economic Area (EEA) healthcare claims made annually for the purposes of provisions made in the Department of Health accounts in accordance with Treasury resource accounting rules.
Notes: Waiver is an agreed intentional relinquishment of healthcare costs between Member States
- Denmark – Full waiver
- Estonia and Norway – Waiver, excepting former Article 22.1c (patient referral) & Article 55.1c (industrial injury) claims
- Finland, Hungary and Malta – Waiver, excepting former Article 22.1c (patient referral) claims