From the UK Telegraph.
Foreigners are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS for the first time under controversial plans backed by ministers.
Those from abroad, including failed asylum seekers, students and tourists are currently barred from receiving free HIV treatment – unlike other infectious diseases.
However, the Government is to support proposals recommended by peers which will end the “anomaly” and allow free treatment even for those not legally settled in Britain.
[…]It typically costs up to £7,000 a year to treat someone diagnosed with HIV and an average of £300,000 per patient over their lifetime with the disease.
[…]The number of people being treated for HIV in this country has trebled over the past decade and almost 100,000 people are thought to now suffer from the disease. Only one in three people with HIV was born in the UK.
However, the infection rate in this country has doubled in the past decade – and the number of infections acquired within the UK exceeded those abroad in 2010 for the first time.
[…][T]he decision is expected to spark renewed concerns over so-called health tourism, which the NHS has recently taken steps to address.Entitlement to free NHS hospital treatment is based on a patient being “ordinarily resident” in the UK.
Anyone else is supposed to be charged for the full cost of any treatment they receive unless an exemption applies to the particular therapy.
Hospitals must take reasonable measures to recover any debt and most have overseas visitors’ managers to do this. However, last year it emerged that so-called “health tourists” have taken at least £35 million of free treatment over the past eight years.
The costs fall disproportionately on certain hospitals, particularly those close to Heathrow and other airports.
In a previous post, I pointed out that Britain is now broke. Shocking, but there it is.