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Jane Payling, Head of Health and Integration at CIPFA, commented
“The changes introduced today may go some way to decrease levels of health tourism, but against the size of the funding shortfall in the NHS it is unlikely these changes will generate substantial income to close the gap.
“Unless there are systems to ensure payments are banked and verified before treatment takes place this could just lead to higher levels of debtors and unpaid invoices.
“And considering there is a significant grey area between emergency and elective work, clear guidance will be needed on when prepayment is required.
“So clear definition and effective systems for tracking the prepayment will be key if the changes are not to prove costly to administer.”
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CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. CIPFA shows the way in public finance globally, standing up for sound public financial management and good governance around the world as the leading commentator on managing and accounting for public money.