Baby denied treatment by NHS because family have overstayed

(521 Posts)
wonderstuff Thu 14-Mar-13 22:12:30

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/13/erbs-palsy-baby-sanika-ahmed-denied-treatment-_n_2866288.html

Baby will be permanently disabled, losing use of one arm if she isn't treated soon. NHS trust are refusing treatment, because although the baby was born here her fathers work visa ran out several years ago. They are being supported by an uncle. I think that the child should be treated, she is innocent and I'm really saddened by the number of people posting comments by this article saying they agree with the NHS stance on this.

What do you think?

tribpot Thu 14-Mar-13 22:19:29

To be completely accurate, the parents claim the baby has only a month before a delay in treatment would result in her being paralysed. Obviously the hospital are not able to confirm or deny the accuracy of that.

But assuming it is true, the problem for the hospital is that they will have to absorb the costs themselves if the baby does not qualify for free treatment. I don't think it is reasonable for them to do so, and funding should be found whilst the parents' legal status is clarified. But ultimately a line does have to be drawn between those who do and those who don't qualify for NHS treatment, as with any other entitlement.

nancy75 Thu 14-Mar-13 22:23:52

A saf story and it is easy to argue for both sides, no normal person wants a child to suffer unnecessarily, however the nhs does not have a never ending amount of money.
As the parents visa ran out in 2009 I wonder if they were charged for the mother giving birth in an nhs hospital?

My understanding is that people not entitled to be here are entitled to emergency treatment only, which this is clearly not. It is sad for the child, but the right decision I think. Where do you stop?

paintyourbox Thu 14-Mar-13 22:38:49

Why did it take the parents 3 months to respond to the hospitals request regarding their immigration status?

Surely they knew they were illegal and could have sorted this out a long time ago? Their daughter is going to suffer because of their inactivity, not because of our NHS.

These policies exist to prevent an influx of so called "health tourists". People coming to this country just to recieve medical treatment for free.

scaevola Thu 14-Mar-13 22:41:19

The BBC report on this says that the condition is the result of birth injury.

If that is true, then NHS should indeed be fixing it, because IIRC birth is counted as a medical emergency and therefore she was entitled to the delivery on NHS regardless of immigration status. And if something went wrong during the birth, then there should surely be an obligation to fix as far as possible the conditions that arose. That might mean subsequent NHS treatment, or a compensation payout that would allow private treatment.

There is no mention of other litigation following birth trauma.

So I am rather left wondering if part of this story is missing.

wonderstuff Thu 14-Mar-13 22:43:23

Wow. I would find the money. I believe I am damn lucky to have been born to the privilidge that is being a Western European, I did nothing to deserve it, it is luck. If I was so unlucky as to be in the position this family is in I would hope others would show me compassion. If I was the decision maker and I decided a child should be permanently disabled, I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror. What sort of life awaits a disabled person in Bangladesh do you think?

You aren't entitled to 'emergency' treatment free of charge. The entitlement is to A&E care only. It's clear that the hospital are not refusing treatment. They're refusing free treatment by telling the parents there will be a bill. Rightly so. These people are not entitled to live here nor to benefit from the NHS. The child's situation is the responsibility of the parents not the hospital.

nancy75 Thu 14-Mar-13 22:55:53

Unless premature I cant see how child birth would be classed as emergency anyway, it's not an unexpected event at the end of a pregnancy

EverythingsBeachy Thu 14-Mar-13 22:59:18

Why would you automatically assume that anything going wrong in child birth would automatically result in a compensation claim? Things to wrong through no ones fault sometimes

Mrsdavidcaruso Thu 14-Mar-13 23:33:34

I have already posted on the other AIBU thread.

The NHS is not there for all the world to use for free, other countries charge both its citizens and tourists for health care in the USA if you have no money or insurance you don't get treated.

It is also rather telling that having totally flouted the laws of this country by over staying the parents are trying to use the law to get the operation, I am assuming the law firm they are using is doing the work for free otherwise one would ask why are the parents spending money on lawyers if they cant afford to pay for the treatment.

My own 8 month old DD died as a direct result of NHS cuts when they closed our A&E department and she died because we couldn't get treatment in time.
I am helping raising funds for another UK child to go to the USA for treatment as our NHS wont fund the operation she needs, yet illegal immigrants believe they have the right to have free treatment.

Of course its emotive when its a child, but the situation she is in is due to the parents not getting their immigration status sorted out and they, not UK citizens or the UK health service must bear the responsibility.

WizardofOs Thu 14-Mar-13 23:40:40

Erbs palsy can be caused during birth by use of instruments or perhaps having to manipulate the baby during the birth. Usually it is just one of the risks of using instruments but then generally there is not much of an option at that point.

scaevola Fri 15-Mar-13 09:25:57

I made the assumption that things may have gone culpable wrong because the BBC reported it in terms of "birth injury" rather than a more neutral phrase about complications.

In this case, it may or may not lead to a compensation claim: as I posted, there is nothing else in the article about this. But it is prima faciae a possibility here.

And the entitlement for free to all-comers isn't A&E only: childbirth is also included.

ubik Fri 15-Mar-13 09:30:10

But emergency care such as this is not free if you are not a UK resident. I think even children airlifted from some war torn country for emergency medical care by the NHS usually have some sort of benefactor paying.

scaevola Fri 15-Mar-13 09:31:45

Indeed they do.

But parturition is covered.

ubik Fri 15-Mar-13 09:37:07

But this is not accident nor emergency. But the baby is born!

"We understand that Mr and Mrs Ahmed are attending an appeal hearing next month that will rule on their legal right to remain in the UK. We are happy to see Sanika as an outpatient pending the results of this appeal."

This seems fair enough - the hospital are following guidelines.

ubik Fri 15-Mar-13 09:37:35

sorry too many buts

expatinscotland Fri 15-Mar-13 09:38:50

And yet I know a number of people who are UK nationals who have had to raise funds to purchase life-saving treatment abroad that is not available on the NHS - not just losing movement in the arm, but their child's lives to cancer.

Tbh, given that we are talking about denying a child healthcare on the basis of the immigration status of their parents, the NHS is probably in breech of the UN convention on the rights of the child, to which the uk is a signatory. Several of the articles mention that states must ensure children's rights to healthy development, health care and disability support to lead a full and healthy life. These rights are supposed to be the minimum that the uk signed up to.

ReallyTired England Fri 15-Mar-13 09:48:52

Where do you draw the line? It is sad, but the NHS is not a world health service. I hope that some charity pays for the treatment that Sanika needs.

Sanika's plight might well be sad, but it is no worse than some random baby with Erbs palsy in another third world country. I would rather that British tax payers money goes on overseas aid to help countries set up their own health services.

Januarymadness Fri 15-Mar-13 09:49:21

Erbs Palsy is generally a result of a shoulder dystocia at birth. There needs to be no medical failure for this to occur. It is something that often just is.

I do not know enough about the case to comment specifically. However as dd had a shoulder dystocia I would say it is a a marvel of nhs care that the child is alive. So dont jump to bash the nhs.

SolomanDaisy Fri 15-Mar-13 09:50:18

I don't think childbirth is automatically free. I am a UK citizen living abroad and would have to pay to give birth in the UK.

Given the urgency I'd have thought in this case they should treat the child then argue about the costs.

expatinscotland Fri 15-Mar-13 09:51:49

Are they denying her care orfree care?

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Mar-13 09:51:54

Is that for every child in the UN, or is each country that signed taking responsibility for its own citizens?

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Mar-13 09:52:36

Sorry, that was to Arbitrary.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now