East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has welcomed Government plans to introduce charges for non-EU patients in England, for A&E treatment, ambulance services and other medical treatment. Subsidies for dentists and opticians will also be cut for non-EU citizens.

The move, which will save taxpayers £500m a year by 2018 is designed to ensure everyone makes a fair contribution to services, by extending charges to make sure overseas visitors pay for the care they receive.

Sir Greg ‘warmly welcomed’ the move. He has previously highlighted in Parliament that the NHS currently has no information about how much health spending is being used to provide medical care for foreign visitors. Today, he said, “These changes will recover up to £500m per year and put more resources back into frontline patient care where it is urgently needed.”

“The tax-payer already pays for the NHS through their income tax so it is right that treatment remains free for UK nationals. These proposals will make the NHS even better for the British people by curtailing health tourism and boosting NHS funding. After all, it is a National Health Service – not an international one.

The Government is consulting on the plans until March 2016.