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Health Tourism in the UK

November 23, 2016

At last the UK government is taking this issue seriously! It has been a growing problem for many years and nobody has had the guts to confront it squarely until now. Well done to all those involved. I do not see a problem with providing 2 forms of identification to either receive or provide care. The only question I have is will that identification requirement be flexible enough to ensure that the vulnerable are not penalised?

I do however, have serious concerns about the impact of political correctness as shown by the British Medical Association (BMA) announcements over the last few days as they wheel out the usual mantra of undermining the doctor/patient relationship when they are being asked to be ‘gate keepers of care’ and that the proposal is disproportionate to the money saved by such measures and that the Government should concentrate on increasing the budget for health care. Not only do I find this frustrating but wonder on which planet this Organisation is on! Firstly they are always asking for increased funding and that in itself is not a bad thing, but trying to frustrate any means of plugging any ‘leaking funds’ that could be ploughed back into the healthcare system is a step too far. Secondly, I do not suspect that the Government is going to ask individual Doctors to ask patients to produce their ID before direct communication; this is an administrative duty that their administration staff are more than capable of doing. So where is the problem? The BMA has got to remember that general taxation pays their wages when they work within the public sector such as the NHS and therefore they have an obligation to ensure that it benefits those who pay the taxes. The world does not revolve around the lives and whims of Doctors!

By all mean express concerns about Government activity but surely grown up behaviour does not include opposing measures for the sake of opposition! The BMA must realise that increased funding for a public service requires increased taxation. How much more tax can the public (Middle class/ Just About Managing class) pay? Let common sense prevail and take measures to plug the holes from which funds are seeping away from the system, surely that has got to be a good position to start from when trying to increase funding availability! Increased funding through a budget is a totally separate political argument and must not be allowed to blur the argument on health tourism.Come on BMA get a grip!!!!!


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