ALL foreigners arriving in Britain will face a fee of up to thousands of pounds to pay for their healthcare.
The levy will be mandatory for everyone except tourists for any stay longer than six months in a new Government plan.
It will be paid upfront, before migrants know whether they will need any treatment and will be imposed even if they have private health insurance, The Sun can reveal.
The scheme — which hopes to recoup the £200million a year the NHS currently pays treating non-Brits — will be unveiled by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tomorrow.
A senior source told The Sun: “The pressures on the health service are already huge with our ageing population, so we need to start relieving the burden.
“A migrant flat fee re-introduces the important contributory principle. Why should foreigners get treatment for free, while British citizens pay for theirs through their taxes?”
The charge’s exact figure has yet to be decided, and is expected to be put out to a public consultation.
But a heated row is raging in the Coalition over whether it should be set at a few hundred pounds or to several thousand, The Sun has learned.
And the proposals are already facing strong opposition from the Business and Education departments.
Ministers there insist it could hit investment and talent coming in to the country by making it too expensive for many — as well as slashing colleges’ and universities’ potential income.
The levy — which already exists in some nations such as Australia — will appear in the government’s flagship Immigration Bill in the autumn.
Mr Hunt will also unveil a new registration and tracking system to spot freeloading foreign patients trying to rip off British taxpayers.
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/4992800/Migrants-face-NHS-entry-fee.html#ixzz2YHWMGRLo