People moving to the UK for longer than six months are required to pay an Immigration health surcharge. I.e., they pay a tax when they request a Visa to be allowed to use the National Health Service (NHS) for free. According to Wikipedia this was introduced to offset the costs of medical tourism.
I never heard of a similar law applied in other countries. So I would like to understand it better. In particular:
- Other countries that have similar functioning health care systems (i.e., in layman terms free healthcare) fund healthcare with the general taxation. And immigrants pay normal taxes, so such law would not be needed. Is the NHS funded in a different way that would make necessary such law? Or is the NHS more accessible to foreigners than the typical healthcare system, so it is more easily exploited?
- Is the law unique in the world, or there are other similar laws?