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U.K. plans to charge tourists, migrants for medical care

1:40 PM, Dec 30, 2013   |    comments
An Ambulance outside St Thomas' Hospital, London on December 9, 2013 in London, England. Some patients taken by ambulance to A&E departments are waiting in the vehicle for much longer than the recommended 15 minutes. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)
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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's government has announced plans to require migrants and international tourists to pay for emergency medical treatments.

They would also require migrants and visitors to pay for minor surgery that takes place in doctors' offices.

The changes, along with other fee increases, are part of an overall plan to reduce "health tourism" and lessen the tax burden.

Health official Frederick Curzon said Monday the financial changes are needed because "we must make sure the system is fair to the hardworking British taxpayers who fund it."

Officials said no one would be turned away from emergency rooms but that payment would be expected.

The proposals were announced as some politicians warn that Britain's resources are being strained by providing services to immigrants.

Details are scheduled to be announced in March.

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