Think tank confirms massive NHS cost of returning expats

Published:  16 Jun at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Tagged: UK, Euro, England
The expected post-Brexit expat exodus from EU member states will cost the UK a billion pounds, say experts.

At the present time, the cost to the UK of reduced cost and free healthcare for expats living in Europe is estimated at £500 million. Once Brexit kicks in and around 190,000 expats return to the UK, the total price of NHS treatment will double, exacerbated by the rising cost of drugs and a shortage of nursing and social care staff.

According to researchers, it's highly unlikely that the present reciprocal costs arrangement will continue once Britain leaves the EU. Also expected is a surge in the need for hospital beds as well as the inevitable hiring of agency staff to cover shortages when EU medical staff are forced to return to to their home countries. In order to provide beds for the estimated numbers of expat returnees, two more hospitals with a total of 900 plus beds would need to be built.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the NHS is facing an 'incredibly challenging' five years, with the only way out of the crisis an arrangement with Brexit negotiators allowing UK expats to stay abroad and be cared for locally. This would cost half of less that the estimated one billion should the expat exodus occur. Should a hard Brexit be adopted, the financial position of the NHS is likely to be even worse, as the resultant economic slowdown would spark a huge impact on public finances.

Both the present Conservative government and its rival Labour Party are promising increases in health spending, taking into account the UK’s ageing population, an increase in chronic conditions and the ever-increasing cost of new, expensive drugs and diagnostics. According to a University of Birmingham professor of health law, it’s certainly in Britain’s interest to have retirees living overseas treated in their country of residence, as healthcare is generally cheaper in Europe than in the UK.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive