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  1. UK media recently reported that the British government is planning a 'major crackdown' on 'health tourism'. The logic of the crackdown appeared to be straight forward, given that the NHS is placed under considerable strain from visitors who arrive in the UK with longstanding health problems expecting free treatment. However, the restrictions will also affect British expats living abroad. According to media reports, UK pensioners who have been residing abroad for more than six months will no longer be eligible for free treatment. Regardless of contributions made in the form of tax payment and National Insurance contributions, they will have to pay for any NHS treatment received while in Britain. The only exceptions, where the costs will still be covered by the NHS, is for the treatment of emergencies, such as heart attacks. However, the ban, which is set to be enforced by next April has sparked considerable controversy from UK citizens residing abroad. "I lived and worked in the UK for 20 years. I paid the soaring tax rates each and every year, and I never went on the dole [the British welfare system] or tried to qualify for any extras," said expat, Laura, who began working abroad seven months ago. She added, "There isn't any work in the UK now. The unemployment rate is soaring, and higher education is about to skyrocket as university fees are going up. Do they really expect Britons to stay put, paying out in tax but getting so little in return? I don't intend to return to the UK, but that doesn't mean I don't deserve the rights of other citizens should I visit later. This is especially the case when I'm old and at my most vulnerable. In fact, I deserve more as I never milked the system like the others did."
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