Lords debates NHS overseas visitors regulations

The House of Lords chamber at work.
16 November 2017

Members of the House of Lords will discuss the government's introduction of NHS regulations on Thursday 16 November.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (Labour) will propose a motion to regret that the government does not clarify:

  • how upfront charging can work without increasing barriers to healthcare for vulnerable groups
  • how they will not breach equality legislation through the potential use of racial profiling as a means to identify chargeable patients
  • how the extension of charging to community services will not lead to patients being prevented from accessing preventative care programmes

His motion also regrets that the regulations were introduced without sufficient assessment of the effectiveness and value for money of the bureaucratic process proposed.

If agreed, this motion will not stop the regulations, which came into force in November 2017, but will provide an opportunity for the House to put on record its regret that the government does not provide clarity on the points above.

How do these regulations become law?

These regulations were subject to the negative procedure, meaning they would not normally be debated unless a member objects. These regulations were laid on 19 July 2017, and their provisions came into force on 21 August and 23 October 2017.

Further information

 Image: House of Lords 2017 / Photography by Roger Harris

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