GLASGOW’S NHS was unable to claim back £500,000 last year after treating foreign patients who are not entitled to free treatment, figures show.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spent £893,579 over 2018 treating 152 patients who are not part of the European Economic Area and was only able to recoup £349,78.

The total cost over 2017/2018 was £1,010,356, of which £304,027 was claimed back.

A new report warns health boards are missing out on “vital sums of money” by failing to identify fraudulent cases or claim back treatment costs.

Emergency treatment, treatment for infectious diseases and GP services are free to everyone, regardless of residency status.

However, a report found patients may be referred for further treatment, they are not entitled to, because GPs are not required to carry out checks on a patient’s residency.

The Health and Sport Committee has asked the Scottish Government to consider giving GPs more of a “gate-keeper” role.

Evidence shows not all health boards are participating in the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) Incentive Scheme, whereby NHS boards can claim 25% back of treatment costs of card holders.

Figures show Glasgow’s health board reported 82 patients to the DWP within the last five years but also has 745 pending cases.

Figures show Scottish health boards are owed more than £3.2 million by patients.

Lewis Macdonald MSP, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said: “We are concerned that NHS boards are missing out on vital sums of money to which they are due by not being able to identify those entitled to NHS care.

A spokeswoman for the board said: “At a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee in December, we were praised for our procedures to recover money that we are entitled to for treatment of overseas patients.”

A new bill is seeking to maintain reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the EU post-Brexit.