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I heard some doc talking on the morning news programme.  He said that “health tourism” was a prob in the hospital he worked in and for the NHS generally.
“Health tourism” means people who are ineligible for treatment here turning up with  pre-existing conditions and getting free treatment.

It’s long been a problem and, he informed us,  costs the NHS about 2% of its budget.  (This number turns out to be fallacious.  A 2013 report shows cost is approx 0.3%  See Footnote.)    It’s also an emotive issue.

The doc’s remedy for this is to make everyone presenting at hospital for treatment produce “two pieces of identity”.  He suggested a passport and a utility bill.
When I hear people talk like this the first thing I’m aware of is their ignorance of how many people live.

I’m also alerted by a phrase like “pieces of identity”. This isn’t the way we talk about ID, we say “proof of identity”.  A piece of identity is something you get asked for on the continent, in my experience.  e.g.  the French police opening line to an obvious foreigner  “vous avez un piece d’identité ... “

“Pieces of identity” suggests a particular lifestyle, along with ignorance of the lives of many others.

Many people don’t have a passport. 
Most people won’t have a utility bill.  They live in the home of one householder whose name is on all the bills.  obv.
Many people in rented accommodation won’t have a bill at all for their utilities,  they pay for them by pre-payment meter.  The same for their mobile phones (PAYG).

The interviewer didn’t challenge him on any of this, suggesting a similar outlook.
I think it might be called “The Bubble”.

Incidentally,  a passport is not proof of eligibility for NHS healthcare.
And a name on a bill is not proof of identity.  It’s a label attached to the bill. 


Click here for Govt report into Immigrant and Migrant use of the NHS England.

I don’t see why a BBC interviewer should be unaware of the flaws in the interviewee’s presentation.  It can only be either very poor briefing or else an agenda.
If the former it’s incompetence and the latter it’s lack of integrity.  Either diminishes the reputation of the national broadcaster.

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