Last week, the Department of Health announced that patients would have to produce their passport when registering for their first hospital
appointment as part of the clampdown on health tourism.
On 17th November 2014, I wrote the following to Mr Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health:
Following a GP referral to hospital, patients are sent details of date, time and place of their first appointment. It would be perfectly reasonable to include an explanatory note listing entitlement criteria for free NHS care, and the reasons why some patients may be ineligible. It would also be reasonable to request photo ID (passport or driving licence) and a recent utility bill in their name as is now required to access any financial service, to open a bank account or to apply for a parking permit. This would prevent identity fraud and deter most health tourists.
This suggestion was dismissed in a reply letter from an official. Five months later, as one of several pre-election promises, my suggestion is announced as a policy, without any acknowledgement. Thank you Jeremy!