Hospitals and other care providers issued £91million bills to patients from outside the 31 countries of European Economic Area last year.
But they received only £35million — and wrote off £30million in unpaid fees, according to figures from watchdog NHS Improvement.
Andrew Percy, standing for re-election as a Tory MP, said: “We have a National Health Service, not an International Health Service. Every pound not recovered is a pound not spent on those who pay their taxes.”
Demands for payment rose by £4million from 2017/18 to 2018/19, analysis of NHS accounts by the Health Service Journal shows.
The amount received increased by £5million but write-offs were up £3million.
Freedom of Information responses from two thirds of trusts earlier this year revealed they were owed £149.5million — enough to pay for 6,000 nurses.
The British Medical Association has called payment demands “racist”.
Spokesman John Chisholm said: “The system is not working and, given the difficulties in recouping charges and assessing a patient’s ability to pay, it is not cost effective.”
Saffron Cordery, from NHS Providers, said improvements were being made.
But she added: “Recovering costs can be challenging. We need to bear in mind the pressures that make this a difficult task for frontline staff.”-The Sun