Court of Appeal confirms no consultation duty for NHS advance charges

In R (MP) v Secretary of State for Health And Social Care [2020] EWCA Civ 1634, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision that there was no need for the government to consult the public before introducing advance charging of overseas visitors for NHS treatment. The High Court had also rejected the argument that the regulations breached the Public Sector Equality Duty and that allegation was not renewed before the Court of Appeal.

The result is not surprising given the general reluctance of the Court of Appeal to interfere with the operationof the government. Even if the claim had succeeded, the government would probably have simply remade the regulations, albeit having conducted a consultation exercise first.

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