UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s previous comments on non-British nationals seeking HIV treatment in the UK have come under fire once again in the opposition leaders’ TV debate.
Farage spoke again about non-British nationals seeking HIV treatment in the UK in tonight’s debate when pushed by Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood.
The UKIP leader claimed that his party were being “bullied”, upon which Wood said: “You abuse immigrants and those with HIV and then complain UKIP is being abused”.
In response Farage said: “The point is health tourism costs up a very great deal of money. People in government have to make tough choices.
“If the choice is we increasingly say to people, particularly older people, ‘we cannot treat you for breast cancer, we cannot treat you for prostate cancer, we haven’t got the money’, whilst at the same time we allow people to fly into Britain who have got no link to Britain and contributed nothing to this system.
“We’re prepared to give them the drugs for being HIV positive.”
His comments in the ITV leaders debate that took place two weeks ago were attacked by Wood who said he should be “ashamed” about his comments on health tourism in the UK.
Farage claimed that 60% of people diagnosed HIV positive in the UK are foreign nationals, but with the drugs costing up to £25,000 a year, the UKIP leader emphasised that the NHS should be there for British people.
This is not the first time Farage has discussed health tourism. He did so last October when he said his party would stop migrants with HIV from entering Britain and claimed that British taxpayers were paying for the NHS to become an “international health service”.
However experts recently have come forward to say there is no evidence that foreigners come to the UK for the primary purpose of accessing life-saving HIV treatment.
They also pressed that forcing them to pay for drugs and testing would only help to spread the disease as they would likely not be able to afford treatment.