While the NHS is establishing passport checks for patients, British tourism is demanding full medicals for those hoping to enjoy the drizzly delights of Bognor. As is well known, a blustery UK vacation is the perfect antidote for any pre-existing medical condition; which is why 36 million people visit every year – foregoing laser surgery in exchange for a taste of Kendall mint cake, donkey rides and a ticket to a flint museum.
One Red Coat explained: ‘While much has been made of the cost of ‘Health Tourists’, very little has been done to tackle ‘Holidaying Patients’. Too often foreigners fake illness to get the best parking spaces at the Isle of Man’s ‘Old House of Keys’ or to get preferential wheelchair access to Blackpool’s Pleasuring Beach. So if you see a bald kid, with a Romanian accent, trying to jump the queue at Alton Towers – check to see if it’s chemo or alopecia’
The Government is proposing a range of ID checks to access basic services; including dental records for immigrants, bank statements to be eligible to vote and urine samples for those phoning 999. The UK’s new Holiday Certificate will guarantee that only the genuinely ill, confused or masochistic will seek a break at Pontins.
Foreign ‘Holidaying Patients’ will still be able some access some ‘rudimentary’ vacation provision up to the value of £10; such as a day trip to Glasgow’s needle exchange, a keg of irn-bru or 5 weeks in Rhyl. Said one tourist: ‘I may not have been ill to begin with, but after caravanning in Tenby, I’m now booked for an all-inclusive fortnight at my local hospital’.