Monday, 13 April 2015

UK Moves To Stop Tourists And Migrants From Abusing NHS

A Nigerian woman who flew to Britain while pregnant with quintuplets had NHS care costing the taxpayer around £200,000.

Bimbo Ayelabola, 33, pictured above, applied for a six-month visitor visa shortly after discovering she was pregnant and moved to the UK to stay with her sister in East London.

She gave birth by caesarean section in April 2011 and stayed in Homerton Hospital for almost two weeks. 

Her quins, born at 32 weeks, received care in a premature baby unit at the cost of around £35,000 a week. 

The mother said she did not have the means to pay, but it emerged her husband was a wealthy businessman who owned a logistics company and a hotel and business centre in Lagos.

Now the UK is making it compulsory you show your passport or prove you are entitled to NHS care before you receive it. Patients will have to take their passport to hospital as part of a clampdown on health tourism.

Hospitals have been issued with guidelines from the Department of Health telling them they have a 'legal obligation' to ensure they identify anyone not entitled to free treatment.

By law, only those who have been living in the UK for at least six months are eligible for hospital treatment on the NHS. 

Under the guidelines women who are about to give birth will not have to fill in forms beforehand because maternity care is deemed 'immediately necessary' and is free to anyone regardless of whether they can pay. But staff will be encouraged to ask patients for documents once the baby has been born and chase them up with the bill.

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