I was again listening to BBC Tees and was struck by the notion of charging foreigners £200 for free medical a year. Which is a drop in the ocean when prescriptions for us who were born here are £7 a pop. An x-ray costs around £500, MRI about a £1000 a time. So £200 is nothing for a whole years free NHS treatments and GP visits for immigrants or Visa applications.
However the second part of the topic was getting sick abroad and the comparison between this country and others. Now the most infuriating part was the health minister on the program saying while in the EU, you as a British Citizen get free treatment with your E1-11 card. It just shows how the minister doesn’t live in the real world, and I’ll clarify why.
I went to Costa Dorada, the hotel Cap Salou in 2004, before the E1-11 card, when you went to the Post Office every time and filled out a form to receive free health insurance. Well I went to the Cap Salou on a half board basis for a fortnight, room, food, the only thing to pay was your drinks. In the second week I became severely ill, it turned out I got food poisoning because the hotel were reheating the buffet food from the night before left overs. Was all on Watchdog after they did a secret hotel visit a few years later after someone nearly died.
But my main point was, I was taken to a supposedly free hospital and doctor, not as the minister postulated that the only time people get charged is when they are taken to private hospital and doctor by ambulance. No I was taken to a hospital where I would be treated free, supposedly. Yet I received a bill after treatment for £70 for medicines, even though medicines were included or you would assume by the E1-11 or its predecessor. I showed the insurance documents, my passport but still had to fork out the equivalent of £70 for medicines. So I would like to say to the minister who was on the program, wise up and try living in the real world. If a foreign doctor, hospital or such can find a way to make you pay for their time, they will. E1-11 or not!
So in summary, £200 for a whole years treatment on the NHS for non-British nationals coming to this country is a drop in the ocean, and it is only this governments attempts to use a medical analogy, at stemming a haemorrhage with a plaster. It is a token measure to detract from it’s severe failings. Finally the Costa Dorada, Cap Salou hotel was closed down by health authorities after the program aired to tackle it’s staffs serious failings.