Whilst the NHS dithers, we are never going to get ‘medical tourists’ pay for treatment they managed to get for free by playing our system. As far as I know, we are the ONLY country in Europe where hospital receptionists don’t bother to check if patients are eligible for treatment in their country. Yet in every other country where I have been treated this has happens automatically. I pointed this out to CEO of local London hospital; her excuse was staff had too much to do to check if patients were entitled to free treatment. From what I have seen here staff have time to chat to Ambulance staff off-duty. Instead of sending NHS Admin staff on junkets abroad, why not send A & E staff to see how European hospitals check in patients.. Teach them how to work a credit card reader, and we could start to recoup the money we are losing.
Unless you swim the Channel, to reach this country everyone must have had to pay for plane or ferry ticket so possess a credit card. Politely tell patients to hand this over BEFORE they are admitted, to pay for their treatment. As happens in every other country. Simples!