UK restricts free health care for visitors

Britain’s Department of Health is closing loopholes that allow foreign tourists to take advantage of free medical care in public hospitals. Some were abusing the system, including pregnant women who timed their visits to give birth in British hospitals, where they would not be charged.

As of April 2004, under the new regulations travelers who become ill or are injured during their visit to the U.K. will have to pay for treatment, even in National Health Service facilities. Overseas students studying full time in the U.K. will be exempt from charges for treatment.