HC Deb 04 February 1976 vol 904 cc679-80W
Mr. Michael Latham

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why charges are not made to foreigners who are taken ill during a visit to the United Kingdom and receive emergency medical treatment under the National Health Service, especially those who are citizens of countries with which the United Kingdom has no reciprocal health agreements.

Dr. Owen

Such emergency treatment is allowed free under the long-established "Good Samaritan" policy. The costs of administering a system of charges for the relatively small numbers of patients thought to be involved would greatly exceed likely income to the National Health Service.

Mr. Trotter

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why no information is available as to how many citizens of foreign countries are receiving social security benefits in the United Kingdom.

Mr. O'Malley

Citizens of foreign countries who fulfil the conditions for entitlement can get social security bene- fits on the same terms as native born citizens. There has, therefore, never been any need to collect the information requested which could only be obtained at disproportionate expense.

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