Health Tourist Bill: British government accused of failing to clamp down on health tourism

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***As Nigerian mom who flew to Britain to give birth to twins racked up £350,000 hospital bill

The row comes as the British government is accused of failing to clamp down on health tourism. A Nigerian mother who flew to Britain to give birth to twins racked up a £350,000 hospital bill – paid for by the British taxpayer.- The Sun

The woman had a C-section at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital after being transferred there from another hospital.

A Nigerian mum racked up a £350,000 bill after flying to the UK to give birth to twins at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

She suffered pregnancy complications and her twins spent two months in intensive care, the Daily Mail found.

The huge cost of caring for them exposes the scale of health tourism abuse suffered by our cash-strapped NHS.

Luton health bosses said they could not refuse treatment if there was danger to life – regardless of where patients were from.

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Some 13,077 overseas patients were treated in the UK between 2015 and 2016 – including 3,066 mothers who flew in especially to have their babies.

A significant number are understood to have come from Nigeria.

In 2011 Bimbo Ayelabola, a Nigerian came to the UK after learning she was pregnant and cost the NHS £145,000 after she gave birth to five babies at a hospital in east London. She has since returned to her native Lagos.

In 2015 she told the Daily Mail she has never been sent a bill by the NHS.

Bimbo Ayelabola cost the NHS £145,000 in 2011 after giving birth to five babies in London

Elsewhere, Imperial College in West London said it was chasing a £320,000 bill for a woman who gave birth to triplets.

Another woman, also from Nigeria, gave birth to quads after going into premature labour on the flight to London. One of her babies died.

The row comes as the British government is repeatedly accused of failing to clamp down on health tourism, which is estimated to cost £230million a year.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has come under increased pressure of late to tackle the UK’s health tourism bill

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “The NHS is in a critical state due to lack of resources, so any abuse from health tourism should be stopped.

“The sums of money are astonishing. Most patients would be concerned about the vast sums of money not being reclaimed and the potential for this money to be spent on frontline services and staff – which could improve the quality of care and the time in which people receive care.”

Courtesy The Sun

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