WE ARE retired and have lived in France since 2006 so the UK healthcare changes [see page 8] do not affect us, but these, along with the changes to winter fuel allowance and other matters are all part of the government’s assault on expats’ rights.
Those of us that come to live in France, either after or before retiring age, are coming for a new life in a European Union member state, so in reality it is no different to living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
So why is the British government always trying to discriminate against mostly ordinary expats living in France and Spain, while other
EU countries give representation to their countrymen if working or retired in other European states.
The British government should be overjoyed to refund expats’ charges to the French health service as they are not taking up GP appointments or filling waiting lists at hospitals.
Plus, medical care in general in France is less expensive. I have been told a hip replacement in a top French hospital is onethird of the NHS cost. (The UK government should compare salaries paid and hours worked by doctors and consultants in France and Britain).
So, if a person comes to live in France at any age their healthcare should be paid for by Britain.
The government takes into account the number of years that NI contributions have been made but the unemployed in the UK do not lose their healthcare rights and, in fact, do not pay prescription charges.
So, why discriminate against someone moving to France, perhaps to find work, and not still fund their healthcare?
Their proposition is that if we have free healthcare we will say: Goody, let’s go and have a new hip, knee or triple bypass. It won’t cost me anything – and the British government will foot the bill. In fact, we all would prefer to go through life without any of the above treatments, so to refer to your own nationals as “Health Tourists” is an insult.
I have always been in the middle of politics and certainly did not want another socialist government but this government turns my stomach for the way it helps the upper middle class and the wealthy while discriminating against the hard-working middle class and the poor by inferring they are a drain on society.
It would be far worse if they did not concede to the Liberal Democrat requirements.
The healthcare issue is all part of the same package with this government’s attack on expats living in France.
It is a shame we always have to be protected from our own government by Brussels.
The hallowed ground of Eton and the cloisters of Oxford give little education in social justice.
Robin Holland, Morbihan