Proposals to prevent failed asylum seekers and others with no legal
right to be in the UK accessing free care from GPs are being
launched this week.
The government consultation paper will contain proposed regulations
requiring people to prove they are entitled to free NHS care when
they register with a GP.
Health minister John Hutton told the House of Commons home affairs
committee that, in his view, the regulations should mainly be
enforced by the primary care trusts themselves rather than
Hutton said the issue of how often a patient would need to confirm
their entitlement to free NHS care was important.
He said he did not want patients to have to confirm this each time
they visited their GP but that there was an argument for regular
checks as people’s residency and immigration details could change
Although there were no figures on how much the system was being
abused Hutton said he had been told by primary care workers it was
a significant problem.
The committee also considered how the introduction of identity
cards could be used to prove entitlement to free primary and