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NHS and care workers forced to pay for their own healthcare via the controversial immigration health surcharge despite Boris Johnson’s pledge to scrap it will now be refunded.
The prime minister announced the move after it emerged that frontline health workers were still being made to pay for NHS care despite his own U-turn and subsequent pledge to scrap the charge on May 21.
HuffPost UK understands that the government made the decision to backdate the promise on Wednesday morning after it emerged that immigrant NHS staff who have been battling coronavirus were still being charged for care as the PM’s pledge had not yet been implemented.
Labour leader Keir Starmer quoted one doctor who said he had been charged £6,000 for care for his wife and four children despite Johnson’s pledge last month.
At prime minister’s questions, Starmer went on: “These are people on the frontline.
“The prime minister said he would act, when is he going to do so?”
Johnson replied: “It is vital that people who are working on the frontline and NHS workers in particular get the support they need.
“That’s why I said what I said a few weeks ago.
“And what I can tell him is that NHS or care workers who have paid the surcharge since May 21 will be refunded and we are getting on with instituting the new arrangements as fast as we possibly can.”
The government is due to hike the immigration health surcharge from £400 to £624 this October but it is being scrapped for NHS and care workers.