It has emerged that the government is considering introducing strict new regulations on the NHS which would prevent thousands of international students from using it. UK newspaper The Sunday Times found that Conservative ministers hope to enforce new rules that would reduce access to the NHS to only those ‘immigrants' had to have been living in the UK for a whole year.
Such laws would have a huge impact on all international students studying in the UK, and critics are already claiming that this would be the latest in a number of decisions putting overseas students off coming to the UK. Indeed, chief executive of the UK Council for International Student Affairs, Dominic Scott, said that if any such decision was made, it would be "yet one more sign that the UK is less welcoming" to international students. Paul White, from the University of Sheffield, echoed this view, arguing "the message that the introduction of such charging [for healthcare] would convey would be very negative".
This reaction was matched by ForeignStudents.com contributor Erik Redli. A recent Slovakian graduate currently living in London, he knows the realities of the life of an international student in the UK, and believes that restricting use of the NHS simply isn't right: