Re: Wow, it's almost...
"their TAX-PAID-FOR health service that is the NHS "
But they aren't paying for it. Your taxes fund your right to health care while you live in the country and you continue to pay tax, in one form or another (VAT) for as long as you are there. Claiming the benefit of the NHS after you've been decades out of the country is like damaging your car and expecting a previous insurance company to pay out because you paid them premiums years ago. Can you just move back into a house you once paid rent on?
The idea is ludicrous. Take it to its logical extreme: if everyone paid in for twenty years and then buggered off for 30 years but came back when they needed the NHS, it would collapse through lack of resources. No one would have paid adequate amounts of tax.
The only ex-pats who should be able to vote or use the NHS are those who continue to contribute substantial amounts of tax while living abroad.
And I'm excluding myself from the vote or NHS because I am one of those ex-pats. I don't pay into Britain, haven't for years, and even though I paid tax for 30 years, I should have no say on how it is run NOW, and no access to the NHS NOW, because I haven't contributed for years!