DAUK in BMJ: Scrap NHS fees for overseas healthcare staff, says Labour

We have written a letter to Priti Patel condemning the government’s u-turn on the IHS (Immigration Health Surcharge) at a time of national crisis. DAUK’s letter was read at PMQs.

“Speaking at Questions to the Prime Minister on 20 May, Labour leader Keir Starmer said, “Every Thursday we go out and clap for our carers. Many of them are risking their lives for the sake of all of us.

“Does the prime minister think it’s right that care workers coming from abroad and working on our frontline should have to pay a surcharge of hundreds—sometimes thousands of pounds—to use the NHS themselves?”

In a letter sent on 18 May, the Doctors’ Association UK, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, and the Association of Pakistani Physicians of Northern Europe criticised the home secretary’s decision not to review the surcharge.

The letter to Priti Patel said, “At a time when we are mourning colleagues, your steadfast refusal to reconsider the deeply unfair immigration health surcharge is a gross insult to all who are serving this country at its time of greatest need.

“Not only is this a betrayal of all these hardworking people, but also represents a deterrent to attracting talented and skilled workers to the UK—a stated aim of this government’s immigration policy.””