HL Deb 27 July 1982 vol 434 cc224-5WA
Lord Kilmarnock

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will state the rules which they intend shall apply from October to NHS treatment of overseas students (who are not beneficiaries of reciprocal arrangements) with particular reference to the following categories, giving where possible the numbers likely to be affected:—

  1. (1) Students who have already completed one year of a longer course;
  2. (2) First year students in receipt of British Council Scholarships or any other form of British Government sponsorship, indicating the number from Commonwealth countries;
  3. (3) First year students from Commonwealth countries other than those in category (2) above; and
  4. (4) First year students from all "the poorest countries" as defined by the Overseas Development Agency.

Lord Trefgarne

An overseas student to whom the arrangements for European Community and Reciprocal Agreement countries do not apply will be liable to charges for NHS hospital treatment.

Absences of up to three months during that period are ignored. Thus a student who has completed one calendar year in this country will be exempt for any further period he remains in this country unless he interrupts his stay by more than three months.

As a transitional arrangement, any student engaged on a course of study on or before 1st October will be exempt. This exemption will continue for the remainder of his course and to one month after its conclusion; and such a student would remain exempt even if he interrupted his stay in the United Kingdom by more than three months.

Students sponsored by the British Council or Government departments are not exempt, but charges for normal NHS treatment will be paid by the sponsoring body. Other than this, no special provision is made for students from Commonwealth countries or "poorest countries". The number of students in any of these categories is not known.