What recession? Foreigners are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS for the first time under controversial plans backed by ministers.
Those from abroad, including failed asylum seekers, students and tourists are currently barred from receiving free HIV treatment – unlike other infectious diseases. However, the Government is to support proposals recommended by peers which will end the “anomaly” and allow free treatment even for those not legally settled in Britain.
Campaigners argue that the free treatment is essential as it reduces the risk of Britons being infected – and can help people to be treated for HIV before their condition becomes serious and life-threatening. However, ministers are braced for criticism that the decision may prompt so-called “health tourism” and put the NHS under financial pressure at a time when hospitals are being forced to find cuts. It typically costs up to £7,000 a year to treat someone diagnosed with HIV and an average of £300,000 per patient over their lifetime with the disease.
Madness. This will turn the UK into an even greater destination for health tourism from sub-Saharan Africa. And we wonder why they come in their droves, infected with disease. We do not have an NHS we have an International Health Service and the unfortunate taxpayer is going to have to cough up much more to fund it.