Dan Jarvis urges Government to help Afghanistan veteran hit with £36,000 NHS bill

South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis is urging the Government to help a veteran who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq after he was ordered to pay over £36,000 for life-saving NHS treatment.

Taitusi Ratacaucau has been told he must pay the medical bill by Wednesday, April 6, after he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour at St Pancras Hospital in London.

The Fijian-born soldier, who served in the British Army for 10 years, is ineligible for free NHS treatment because of his immigration status.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Mr Jarvis, a former British Army major who is also the MP for Barnsley Central, said it is “wrong” that the veteran is being forced to pay £36,299.82 for his treatment.

“I am sure that pursuing a Commonwealth veteran for 36 grand in NHS costs is not part of the Ministry of Defence’s strategy,” he told the House of Commons.

“Does the Minister agree that it is wrong for someone who has served our country and risked his life in Iraq and Afghanistan to be treated in this way and, if he does, will he work with me and with others to put it right?”

Veterans Minister Leo Docherty said: “I do agree that it is wrong and I look forward to updating the honourable gentleman personally about that case in particular.”

Read More

Read More
Murder probe launched after man shot dead at car wash in Yorkshire
British Army veteran Taitusi Ratacaucau has been told he must pay the £36,299.82 medical bill by Wednesday, April 6

More than £26,000 has been raised to help the married father-of-three cover his medical bills, as part of a campaign run by former professional rugby player Daniel Leo.

It comes after Mr Jarvis and former Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer convinced the Government to scrap the £2,389 visa fee for overseas personnel serving in the British armed forces.

The visa fee will be scrapped for personnel who have completed six years in the forces or been discharged due to an illness or injury sustained during their service.

The new policy will come into effect in the spring and could help some of the 9,000 non-UK citizens currently serving in the armed forces if they want to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after their service ends.