Indian physicians protest UK’s hiked health surcharge


London: Indian physicians here are protesting against “unfair” doubling of a health surcharge imposed on them as they are outside European Union (EU).

A report said the “Immigration Health Surcharge” was introduced in April 2015. The surcharge was hiked from December last year from 200 pounds to 400 pounds per year.

The authorities said the health surcharge is imposed on anyone in the UK on a work, study or family visa for longer than six months in order to raise additional funds for the country’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS).

Britain’s  largest representative body for Indian-origin doctors, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), is lobbying the UK Home Office for a rethink over the charge.

It has argued that it would have an adverse impact on their attempt to recruit more healthcare professionals from India to meet staff shortages in the NHS.

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