With plans for an Airbnb-style scheme for National Health Service patients set to roll out as early as next month, the state of NHS hits a new low.
The health service will compensate homeowners £50-a-day to host patients in their spare rooms.
Overcrowded hospitals and long wait times are a culmination to decades of European Union's open-door migration, draining monetary resources. Brexit's promise of tighter immigration and an increase in availability of funds could prove to be a relief for the national healthcare sector.
Last winter, the number of patients on hospital wards in England were at unsafe levels at nine out of 10 NHS trusts. A&E transferred, admitted, or discharged approximately 82% of patients- rather than the target 95%- within four hours. More than 60,000 people waited between four and 12 hours in A&E for a hospital bed after a decision to admit.
Research supports that EU immigration contributes to financial pressure on the NHS. EU citizens' European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows access to state-sponsored healthcare during a temporary stay in another EEA country. At a cost to British taxpayers, EU migrants who live in the UK have access to healthcare on the same basis as nationals.
Most migrants to the UK are of working age and likely to be healthier than the average UK citizen. Yet, aging is an inevitable process and these young migrants will go on to strain the NHS.
NHS also fails to recoup costs for treating other EU nationals, leaving a "health tourism gap." It's money with potential to ease its financial burdens.
The annual cost of visiting migrants is around £500m, with only £289m collected in payments last year. It results in a deficit of £211m, according to the National Audit Office.
Last March, an answer to a parliamentary question on the difference between the money UK receives treating citizens of EEA countries and the money those countries collect for treating British citizens was shocking. UK secured only £49 million while it paid out £674 million to European countries for health costs.
It's no wonder the NHS budget isn't keeping up with rising demand for services. Total health spending in England is £124 billion this fiscal year. Expenditure will rise to over £127 billion by the years 2020-2021.
Brexit is an opportunity to leave these disastrous EU policies. By implementing tighter immigration rules and reforming healthcare accessibility, NHS will expand space and funds to care for UK taxpayers.