Indian doctors in UK protest ‘unfair’ health surcharge

Last Updated: Feb 10 2019 13:33

The “Immigration Health Surcharge” was introduced in April 2015 and from December last year, it was hiked from 200 pounds to 400 pounds per year.

It is imposed on anyone in the UK on work, study or family visa for longer than six months in order to raise additional funds for the country’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS).

BAPIO has been at the centre of organising fellowship programmes for doctors from India to fill NHS shortages while completing their training in Britain as a “win-win” arrangement.

Prof. Singhal., “These professionals are paying their taxes, including National Insurance (NI) contributions, in addition to providing quality health services in over-stretched hospitals. Such an additional burden will make them feel demoralised and discriminated,”

 It expects to raise an estimated 220 million pounds in extra funding with doubling of the surcharge, with the funds aimed at “sustaining and protecting” the healthcare system.

A UK Home Office spokesperson said, “We welcome use of the NHS by long term residents who still need leave to remain, but we believe it is right that they make a fair and proportionate contribution to its long-term sustainability.”