6 Jun, 2017 @ 12:28
1 min read

Pensioners returning home post-Brexit could cost the UK’s NHS €1.15 billion per year


NHSEXPAT pensioners forced to return to the UK after Brexit could cost the NHS €1.15 billion a year, a new report has claimed.


If the UK fails to strike a deal over health rights for elderly Brits living in Spain, France and elsewhere in the EU, the NHS would have to foot the bill, the Nuffield Trust has warned.

Currently, the UK government pays €575 million a year for healthcare provided to some 190,000 British pensioners living in the EU.

The reciprocal ‘S1’ scheme grants pensioners the right access to the same health care as the local population.

Report author Mark Dayan said: “The NHS and social care were already under pressure from tight funding settlements and growing staffing problems well before the EU referendum last year.

“But if we handle it badly, leaving the EU could make these problems even worse, given the potential impact on both the strength of the UK economy and the supply of overseas staff to both health and social care services.”

The report also highlighted the importance of EU workers in the NHS, with social care facing a shortfall of 70,000 workers if migration is halted.

Joe Duggan (Reporter)

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  1. Strange sums. If health costs paid to Spain stand a bit north of half a million, why would those costs be four times higher for the same treatment in Britain? Can’t believe Spain is subsidising the cost of expat treatment. Not the people who screw every euro they can from wherever they can.
    Or are lots of pensioners expected to suddenly fall into ill-health when returning to drizzly old Blighty?
    There are many reasons to denigrate the stupidity of Brexit, but let’s get the sums right.

    • Uh Oh, should’ve gone to specsavers. For half a million, read half a billion. For four times higher, read twice as much. Principle stays just as puzzling though.

  2. stefanjo, strange that I agree with you on this subject. The UK currently spends £670 million on health care for expats in Europe yet only receive £50 million back. The UK have approximately 3.5 million ex EU citizens stationed in the UK that are able to receives health care, had they also taken that in consideration when they made those calculations. The problem is the UK is very-very slow in making claims as seen many times of the abuse of people coming to the UK for health treatments. Basically I believe the figure quoted would be nowhere near the expenditure. As you say, not all pensioners returning will need health care and if they do thay had paid for it.

  3. I don’t see a shortfall of social care workers in case of Brexit. The British supporters of Brexit may soon substitute migrant social care workers from the EU by migrant social care workers from Pakistan. Where is the problem? Perhaps they are even cheaper?

    • If that was the case Wolfgang, there would exist female cooks in Indian and Pakistani restaurants and take-aways. But of course, they are always men. Why? Could it be that those ladies are somewhat cloistered and discouraged from working outside the home?
      Wouldn’t it then be more frowned on for those ladies to be administering intimate care on men?
      As it happens, many care workers from outside the EU already work in the care system, Britain is requiring many more, but with slave rates paid by privatised companies, even migrants balk at this work.

  4. Wolfgang, or even India, both countries second language is English. Mind you regardless of what Juncker says about the English language being obsolete it is widely used in most countries and most politicians speak English except perhaps Mariano Rajoy.

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