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Taxpayers fork out millions to pay the medical bills of foreigners

Chris Smith
Article image for Taxpayers fork out millions to pay the medical bills of foreigners

The NSW Health Minister wants to force all tourists visiting Australia to take out health insurance, so taxpayers don’t have to foot their medical bills.

Every year, New South Wales taxpayers fork out $30 million to pay for the medical bills of people visiting Australia.

The Daily Telegraph reports one uninsured Chinese national, who suffered a brain hemorrhage, spent over two months in a NSW hospital with their bill exceeding $200,000.

Taking out health insurance is already mandatory for foreign students and some working visa holders.

But the state’s health minister Brad Hazzard believes the rules should be extended to include all temporary visas, so every day Aussies don’t have to foot the hospital bills of foreign visitors.

“At the end of the day we are a very fair society here in Australia, particularly in NSW,” Mr Hazzard tells Chris Smith.

“But why should we be letting $30-million of taxpayers money – this comes out of every single person’s pocket in New South Wales – why should we as individuals be sponsoring people to come here and not have appropriate travel insurance?

“If you can afford to come to Australia, I think you can afford, hopefully, to get your travel insurance. And a reasonable travel insurance policy that covers it.”

On the NSW Government’s behalf, Mr Hazzard is urging the other states to get on board and push the federal government to act.

Click PLAY below for the full interview

Chris Smith
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