Nigel Farage has been round condemned by the commentariat for suggesting that treating foreigners for free on the NHS was not right and that we should, like 46 other countries, not admit foreigners who are HIV positive.
The cost for treatment for HIV positive patients is some £20,000 or more for anti-retroviral drugs every year. Once HIV treatment is started, patients will probably need to take the medication for the rest of their lives. In total, the cost to the NHS could be up to £1 million per patient if they survive into old age from their early twenties.
Of the 107,800 people estimated by Public Health England to be HIV positive an astonishing 59,300 are originally from Africa. The cost to the NHS to treat just them alone with anti-retrovirals would be £1,186,000,000 per annum – and the numbers are rising. Such is the alarm at the cost that 20 Tory backbenchers (including former NHS GPs Dr Sarah Wollaston and Dr Phillip Lee) tried unsuccessfully to amend the Immigration Bill to make it law that before new immigrants enter the country, they must prove they are not HIV-positive and not suffering Hepatitis B – an equally devastating illness that is also incredibly costly to treat. The same demand that Nigel Farage made and George Osborne refused “to dignify with a response“.
Go into any London NHS hospital and you will find them full with non-English speakers, truly London is the capital of the world. The taxpayers who pay for the NHS are not stupid, the issue of health tourism is one which NHS users will have direct experience of in the waiting room. The issue is a real issue according to the latest polling research Guido could find, with 29% of the population blaming health tourism for long waits at Accident and Emergency, ahead of any government policy failings:
The NHS budget is not yet part of the foreign aid budget, nor should it be. Despite the distaste of the political class, the screams of outrage from the gay lobby and the commentariat, the facts are the facts. On this billion pound question, Farage was right about the facts.
UPDATE: [VIDEO] Farage Defends Health Tourism “Hard Cold Facts”