Healthcare accounting may suffer from cross-border NHS charges

Published on March 27, 2013 by Crawfords Accounting

Healthcare accounting could be complicated by plans to introduce charges for access to some NHS services for non-British European nationals.

The BMA has expressed its concerns about the plans to the Welsh Government, via BMA Cymru Wales.

In its response, it warns that partial charging could lead to imbalances in the healthcare system, where non-British European nationals living in or visiting the UK might simply make greater use of those parts of the NHS that remain free to them.

“This could potentially place an undue burden on hospital emergency departments,” the BMA states.

“Additionally, there would be a burden placed upon GPs to collect and account for this charge, as well as to pursue non-payment.”

This, the BMA adds, would be likely to represent a significant addition to the cost and administrative burden of healthcare accounting, compared with the additional funds that might be expected to be raised through charging for access to GP services.

In a further concern, the BMA is also worried that overseas visitors to the UK who are able to pay for treatment might move native Brits further down the waiting list – and is urging that any legislation introduced should ensure that Britons do not face increased waiting times for treatment in their own country.

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