Health officials have said immigrants must “contribute towards the cost of their healthcare”, while professionals have pointed out that this could lead to people wandering the streets with infectious diseases, afraid of being charged.

Ministers will outline plans to introduce a levy on any students or foreign workers who come to the UK for more than half a year.
The fee is likely to be around £200 a year, reports the Huffington Post.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We need to ensure that those residing or visiting the UK are contributing to the system in the same way as British taxpayers, and ensure we do as much as possible to target illegal migration.

“We have been clear that we are a national health service not an international health service and I am determined to wipe out abuse in the system.

“The NHS is a national treasure and we need to work with the entire health system to develop plans and make sure it is sustainable for years to come.”

The National AIDS Trust (NAT) said that the initiatives could risk the lives of people living with HIV and would also threaten citizens’ health.

Chief executive Deborah Jack said: “If introduced, these policies will endanger the lives of people living with HIV and threaten the health of our community.

“The proposals, if enforced, would undermine years of work to encourage marginalised at-risk groups to access HIV testing and treatment.

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