Are COVID testing costs risking UK medical travel?

The high costs of COVID tests for outbound UK medical travellers has been questioned by MPs.

Holly Mumby-Croft MP for Scunthorpe recently addressed Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, in the House of Commons on this issue, stating: “I have previously raised the issue of residents who travel abroad for medical treatment having to pay hundreds of pounds for COVID tests to travel out and to return. This is affecting my constituent, David Hopkins, and others across the country. Will the Health Secretary work with the Secretary of State for Transport urgently to find a way to allow patients such as David to use free NHS tests for medical travel purposes?”

Matt Hancock replied: “I am happy to look into it. I am also pleased that the cost of the tests that are needed for travel is coming down and an important piece of work is under way to see how we can get that down further.”

Mumby-Croft responded by stating, “No one who is travelling abroad for medical treatment should have to face the additional costs of paying for a COVID test to travel and return. I will continue to push the government on this issue affecting local residents.”

David Hopkins’ family has highlighted the difficulty and cost of accessing treatment abroad for a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Treatment for this brain tumour is not available on the NHS.