Boris Johnson has bowed to pressure and has ordered the removal of the NHS migrant surcharge from health and care workers.
The humiliating U-turn comes just a day after the British Prime Minister told the House of Commons the NZ$800 a year charge on migrants outside the EU, which was set to increase to $1250 from October, would stay.
Speaking from the Downing Street daily briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said while the purpose of the NHS fee is a fair one Mr Johnson now wants to exempt overseas NHS staff and care workers as soon as possible.
"The Prime Minister has clearly himself been a beneficiary of carers from abroad and we’ve talked many times during this crisis about the enormous contribution people from overseas have made to the NHS and to social care."
Last month, Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care after he tested positive for Covid-19. He thanked the NHS for saving his life and paid special tribute to two nurses, including Jenny McGee from New Zealand.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who opposed the surcharge and pressed for the removal, said it was a victory for common decency.
"We cannot clap for carers one day and then charge them to use our NHS the next," he said.