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EU students are to be denied free healthcare from 2014

By River Reporter Feb 21, 2013

EU students being forced into paying for healthcare as of next year.

Ben Stevens

EU students are to be denied free healthcare while in the UK in a move to relieve stress on the NHS.

Students will be forced to purchase private healthcare as of 2014, hoping to reduce the number of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants putting strain on the NHS, after restrictions are lifted at the end of the year.

International students not happy

Daniela Yanakieva, 21, a Bulgarian second-year business management student at Kingston University, said: “I don’t feel comfortable in that kind of environment. I am tired of all the restrictions. All I came here for is a better education, not to break the law or steal money from UK citizens.”

Health insurance needed

Immigration minister, Mark Harper claims that EU students should not be a burden on our health service, and that self-sufficient EU citizens who do not work should have health insurance. Only emergency treatment will be provided for free.

Aside from the cost of private health insurance, which in 2008 was averaging £5,200 per person, pre-existing conditions are rarely covered.

A recent Home Office newsletter stated: “Restrictions applied to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals access to the labour market will continue until the end of 2013.” This has prompted a rise in KU applicants from these countries.

Miss Yanakieva said: “Now the issue is that from 2014 we can work without applying for this permit, which is amazing, but they have decided to restrict us having free healthcare. I am sorry but I am sure that all of the Bulgarians and Romanians that I know will agree with me, this is pure discrimination.”

James Kiss, 21, a healthcare assistant at Dorset County Hospital, said: “The nurses I work with are certainly overworked, there is a noticeable strain on the NHS and it’s getting worse. However, cases of people drinking far too much takes up our time and resources far more than immigrants, regardless of where they’re from.”

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