DAUK in the Guardian: Ministers accused of ‘betrayal’ over NHS surcharge for migrants

Doctors have accused ministers of “a crass betrayal” by not honouring Boris Johnson’s pledge to scrap the £400-a-year fees foreign-born NHS staff have to pay for healthcare.

The Doctors’ Association UK has written to Priti Patel, the home secretary, criticising the delay as “unacceptable”.

In the letter Dr Rinesh Parmar, the DAUK’s chair, said: “Several weeks down the line we are deeply concerned that it seems that no progress has been made towards actually scrapping the charges. We have received scores of messages from doctors stating that the Home Office have advised that the charge is yet to be officially removed. This is frankly unacceptable.

“It shows a crass betrayal of thousands of migrant healthcare staff who have served this country during its time of desperate need.”

In it he also urged Patel to exempt not just NHS and care staff from the charges but also their dependants. Currently migrants have to pay the £400-a-head annual fee for their spouses and children as well as themselves, which means some face bills of £3,000 to £6,000 as the fees have to be paid for three years in advance.