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Expat told to pay NHS bill

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caulkhead


Joined: 03/01/2009
Posts: 149

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 00:50

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Message 1 of 24 in Discussion

I thought I would post this peice from today's Telegraph as I am not sure if all expats are aware they may have to pay for treatment back home.



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/4249316/British-woman-who-moved-to-Turkey-forced-to-pay-for-NHS-treatment.html



tonyhickey



Joined: 13/06/2007
Posts: 413

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 01:07

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Message 2 of 24 in Discussion

Just to stop any trouble like this, keep a postal address in the uk



cyprusishome


Joined: 31/03/2007
Posts: 2381

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 08:35

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Message 3 of 24 in Discussion

People with chronic conditions do as Tony states, diabetics is one that I have personal knowledge of. Person keeps UK address to get their drugs and then have them brought over.



This story is not a unique one, just highlighted by the pull on heartstrings. Those returning in droves from Spain etc are falling into the same trap.



Sorry to say but another case of all the home work not being done, something we are all guilty of especially over health care.



mark&beck



Joined: 08/01/2009
Posts: 303

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 08:42

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Message 4 of 24 in Discussion

You can still pay N.I. contribution as an expat,giving you access to all goverment run agencies,ie. health care,state pensions,free legal advise.



sylvie


Joined: 12/03/2008
Posts: 1081

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 10:08

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Message 5 of 24 in Discussion

in france, even if you paid all your life, to get medca care you have to e resident fo 6 months in the year ! or be in a terrible financial situation, in that case they will care of you -

the solution for them is to get a residential adress in france !



keithcaley



Joined: 13/06/2008
Posts: 2521

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 11:20

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Message 6 of 24 in Discussion

Message 4,

I would be most gratefull if you could direct me to the source of your information, because as far as I was aware (up until now), entitlement to medical treatment on the NHS is entirely 'Residence Based'.

That is, it doesn't matter what contibutions you have or have not made, if your normal place of residence is abroad, you are not entitled to free NHS treatment.

This could offer an alternative avenue to treatment for many.

Thanks in advance,

Keith.



tattlad


Joined: 13/12/2008
Posts: 479

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 11:39

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Message 7 of 24 in Discussion

if tha'ts the case then why can any foreigner go to britain and be treated free of charge ?



Michelle


Joined: 27/09/2008
Posts: 7

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 11:43

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Message 8 of 24 in Discussion

Message 6,



Here is a link with current guidelines:



http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/family_parent/health/nhs_charges_for_people_from_abroad.htm



Please note NI contributions are not taken into consideration it is dependent on UK residency within the last 12 months (max 3 months out of UK).



I can confirm there is a clamp down on ex-pats returning for treatment and also at our hospital at Out-Patient appointments everyone is routinely asked: Have you been resident in UK for last 12 months?



Hope this is helpful.



Michelle



keithcaley



Joined: 13/06/2008
Posts: 2521

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 11:46

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Message 9 of 24 in Discussion

Msg 7,

My understanding is that anyone can receive emergency treatment, on humanitarian grounds. They will be asked to pay if they have the means, and are not otherwise entitled.

Also, if they set up home in the UK, and become a resident (a whole different ball game, and don't get me started on this!) , then they automatically qualify - entitlement is not (as far as I am aware) contribution based, it is residency based.

If anyone has any other information, please feel free to correct me!

Keith.



keithcaley



Joined: 13/06/2008
Posts: 2521

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 11:47

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Message 10 of 24 in Discussion

I'll have to type faster - Michelle got in before I did!

Thanks Michelle.

Keith.



Michelle


Joined: 27/09/2008
Posts: 7

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 12:03

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Message 11 of 24 in Discussion

Message 3,



Patients who fail to attend routine monitoring/review x 3 times, are having repeat prescriptions stopped and are now being removed from GP practice lists by some Health Authorities.



This again is targeted at ex-pats.



Michelle



rsalih


Joined: 01/11/2008
Posts: 306

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 12:22

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Message 12 of 24 in Discussion

you can only get treatment if you are actually resident in uk. Thats why if expats go back to live in uk ,then they are entitiled



the butler


Joined: 22/06/2007
Posts: 1958

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 12:52

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Message 13 of 24 in Discussion

Hi,



I have personal experience of this, ten years ago when my husband and myself worked and lived in Italy, we both paid voluntary contributions to the UK to protect our pensions and what we stupidly thought health care. I had a very bad fall and hurt my hip. Despite going for Xrays and seeing a doctor I was told there was nothing seriously wrong. I was in excruciating pain for 8 months and eventually returned to the UK. I was sent for another Xray and the hip had been broken and healed itself but incorrectly. The only possibility for me was a hip replacement but because I had resided in Italy it cost me 9,000. A lesson learnt. If you reside out of the UK for more than 3 months you have to pay. We had retained a UK address whilst in Italy but I was just too honest.



The Butlers wife



briggus


Joined: 25/07/2007
Posts: 161

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 13:36

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Message 14 of 24 in Discussion

Indeed michelle and as "joined up government" initiatives take place with their IT systems transferring information it will become more difficult to get treatment if you have been absent from the UK for lengthy periods.



dalartokat


Joined: 14/04/2008
Posts: 734

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 14:21

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Message 15 of 24 in Discussion

Briggus is right. Any person leaving the the UK for any length of time who returns to either claim benefits of any kind and Health Benefits are subject to what is called "Habitual Residency Test" and eventually it will all be linked up. The situation for Health care has been in force since 2004 but Doctors and nurses were not implementing Gocvernment legislation as they were either "too frightened" to do this or Doctors and GP's were of the opinion that they were there to give treatment and not make decisions on behalf of the Government. Hospitals are now employing Overseas Managers to ask the questions "Have you lived in this Country for the last 12 months and are you entitled to free NHS treatment??"

UK nationals who have recently arrived from abroad must produce their full British passport showing they have a right of abode in the UK. Its all about access now to public funds and has nothing to do with the amount of NIC you have made in the last "x" amount of years.



girne 29


Joined: 06/12/2007
Posts: 1488

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 14:29

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Message 16 of 24 in Discussion

Keithcaley



You are right.Its purely down to residency.



Definately, if you are living elsewhere for more than three months then you are off the NHS register, and are supposed to re register on coming back to stay in the UK.

If you are staying in a EU country , you still carry NHS rights that allow you go onto their medical system.



Its a question of whether the authorities know you no longer reside.



"Joyce McDonald, 66, from St Ives, Cambridgeshire, flew back to Britain after developing liver and heart problems so she could be treated at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Health chiefs charged her hundreds of pounds, saying she was not automatically entitled to free care because she lived abroad.



Addenbrooke's said bosses were following Government rules which say anyone who has lived outside the UK for more than a specified number of months is not automatically entitled to free care."



dalartokat


Joined: 14/04/2008
Posts: 734

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 14:29

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Message 17 of 24 in Discussion

cont...from 15...People who choose to leave for NC should "in my opinion" now pay towards their cost of treatment in the Country they have chosen to live and support that country and his health system. People should before they go make sure they have access to Health care by way of a good insurance policy to enable them to stay otherwise they will find themselves in limbo regards healthcare. I do not believe that NC will continue to provide cheap and sometimes free healthcare expats in the future and who can blame them. Whether people like the UK or not and for whatever problems we are going through it is no longer acceptable for people to buck the system to provide themselves with free healthcare. You made your choice you should provide for it.



No1Doyen


Joined: 04/07/2008
Posts: 16617

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 14:32

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Message 18 of 24 in Discussion

Dalartokat. Yes I have heard this too. My friend is a senior manager in the NHS and he is aware of a new initiative imposing stricter practices for the payment of any benefits to persons who do not reside for a certain period in the uk.



girne 29


Joined: 06/12/2007
Posts: 1488

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 14:36

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Message 19 of 24 in Discussion

Message 17

I dont believe anyone is saying you should be entitled to free healthcare in NC or anywhere else. The point is ,should you be denied free nhs care on your return to UK.

Using the Govt's logic ,you shouldnt get a state pension either, as that is also NI based.



keithcaley



Joined: 13/06/2008
Posts: 2521

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 16:08

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Message 20 of 24 in Discussion

Msg 19,

You said

"Using the Govt's logic ,you shouldnt get a state pension either, as that is also NI based."

The point is that entitlement to free NHS treatment is NOT (NI) contribution - based, it is Residency based, unlike pension entitlement.

Regards,

Keith.



girne 29


Joined: 06/12/2007
Posts: 1488

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 16:53

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Message 21 of 24 in Discussion

message 20



thats my point ,it shouldnt be residency based,as just like pensions its paid for thro NI



keithcaley



Joined: 13/06/2008
Posts: 2521

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 17:51

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Message 22 of 24 in Discussion

I wouldn't argue with you about what it SHOULD be based on, or WHO should be entitled to it - but the facts are as posted by Michelle earlier: -

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/family_parent/health/nhs_charges_for_people_from_abroad.htm



More's the pity...



lovingcyprus


Joined: 02/03/2007
Posts: 1272

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 18:48

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Message 23 of 24 in Discussion

You must remember that National Health Insurance Contributions are another form of INCOME TAX as the corrupt Labour goverment have shown



Menace


Joined: 22/11/2008
Posts: 93

Message Posted:
17/01/2009 19:19

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Message 24 of 24 in Discussion

The comment about getting health care if staying in a EU country is not strictly correct. As an EU citizen living in another EU country,you are only entitled to health care if you have reached retirement age or carry a european health card(the old e111).For retirement based care,you need to get the appropriate form sent from your country of origin and take this to the offices of the local health care system.For the european health card,you need to maintain some kind of address in your country of origin.The big problem is ,if you have been honest and told the authorities that you are living elsewhere in the EU,you are then not entitled to health care anywhere!The health card is well worth having as it can save a fortune on regular drugs etc for any long term illness.I have to take regular heart medicine and the card saves me 100 a month.



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