Health tourist racks up Britain’s biggest unpaid NHS bill

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A health tourist has racked up Britain’s biggest ever unpaid NHS bill after leaving a hospital with a debt of more than £530,000.

The unnamed patient, who is from outside the EU, received treatment from a Manchester hospital last year.

Hospital bosses have cited ‘patient confidentiality’ and have not revealed which country they are from, their age or gender.

It comes as health tourism continues to cost the NHS around £2billion a year after doctors up and down the country provide treatment for non-EU residents. 

The Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is still chasing the huge debt 

The Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is still chasing the huge debt 

The latest incident means the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was left with a debt of £532,498.  

Freedom of Information laws has revealed that the figure is £30,000 more than the previous highest health tourist debt.

The previous highest bill for a NHS health tourist was a 43-year-old Nigerian mother named Priscilla gave birth to quadruplets at London’s Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in November 2016. 

She had intended to give birth where her family members live in Chicago, US, but she was turned away by border officials.  

So she instead chose to fly to Heathrow Airport and gave birth in London – and the hospital had to chase of a bill of more than £500,000 after all of the treatment.

Priscilla, a healthcare worker, gave birth to four babies. One sadly died after birth while another, a girl called Deborah, passed away just days after being born. 

In November 2016, a 43-year-old Nigerian mother named Priscilla gave birth to quadruplets at London's Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital

In November 2016, a 43-year-old Nigerian mother named Priscilla gave birth to quadruplets at London's Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital

In November 2016, a 43-year-old Nigerian mother named Priscilla gave birth to quadruplets at London’s Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital

The rise of health tourist debt has prompted the government to make plans to introduce new laws to prevent similar cases from happening again.

Theresa May is hoping to get back £500million every year and the new measure will mean patients from outside the EU will have to pay before certain operations. 

St Bart’s hospital in London is still owed £349,131 from one patient and Guy’s and Thomas’s, also in London, is chasing a bill of £317,898.

Meanwhile, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals in east London and trying to get £157,378 from parents of one-year-old twins who went to the hospital.

An Indian man, 66, was treated for pancreatitis at the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and owes the trust £122,632.   

And the second biggest bill… Priscilla, 43, who cost the NHS £500,000 NHS bill after giving birth to IVF quadruplets

Priscilla went into labour three months early shortly after landing at Heathrow airport in November.

She had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago, in the US, where she has family – but was turned away by border officials upon arrival.

Priscilla had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago, in the US, where she has family – but was turned away by border officials upon arrival

Priscilla had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago, in the US, where she has family – but was turned away by border officials upon arrival

Priscilla had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago, in the US, where she has family – but was turned away by border officials upon arrival

They claimed that although she had a visa, she did not have required documents from a hospital stating that she had the money to pay for the birth.

Priscilla, a healthcare worker, said she was returning to Nigeria via London when she started having contractions.

She was taken to the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in west London, part of Imperial College Hospital, where she delivered the four babies.

One sadly died shortly after birth while another, a girl named Deborah, passed away on Saturday. The other two, Elijah and Esther, are still being treated on the hospital’s neonatal intensive care ward.

Staff estimate that the total bill for the highly complex birth and the care of the babies is already more than £500,000.
   





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