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?

Corygal Fri 15-Mar-13 09:53:18

Why can't the parents or the uncle pay the bill? It won't be huge. It's standard for native Brits to struggle to go private when the NHS does the same to them.

I don't get the "problem" except as the parents not wanting to pay medical costs for their kid.

The child hasn't come here for medical treatment. She was born in this country and cannot get necessary medical treatment simply because of her parents' immigration status. The child has done nothing wrong.

The UNCRC doesn't say that States only have responsibilities to their own citizens. By signing the convention the UK agreed to assure these rights for every child in the UK. They also signed up to help governments in poorer countries make provisions to ensure the rights of children living in those countries.

Note that every child in the uk is not the same as every child who is a uk citizen. The uk immigration system has allowed this family (and the child) to remain in the country.

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 15-Mar-13 10:01:07

Arbitary Has the parents own country signed the UN convention, if so perhaps they could pay our NHS for the operation, as the parents and the child are still their citizens not ours.

Branleuse Fri 15-Mar-13 10:03:56

they are denying her free care, not care. They are not entitled

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 15-Mar-13 10:04:36

Arbitary - Would the parents have actually owned up to being illegal immigrants if they hadn't had to prove their status to the NHS

I suspect its not a case of the immigration systems 'allowing' them to stay but a case of the parents not declaring their status until they had to

The whole point of the UNCRC is that all the signatories (every country except the USA and Somalia) have agreed to make special provision for children. I'm sure the bean counters will find some way to argue that the money is more important that the child's rights to healthcare, but it really saddens me to see how much the dominant rhetoric of austerity and viewing the child as the private property of it's (nuclear) family affects how people respond to a case like this,

Well, the uk immigration system has let them stay. It might not have intended for them to stay, but it hasn't deported them. And, since they've been presenting at hospital and such like, it doesn't look like they've 'hiding'.

The sad fact here is that a child is not getting necessary healthcare and all anyone seems to care about it who pays for it!

ParsingFancy Fri 15-Mar-13 10:08:44

"We're not denying her care, just denying her free care," is the line used by the US system so no one has to take responsibility.

The insurance companies say, "We're not denying care, just denying payment."
And the hospitals say, "We're not denying care, just denying free care."

So no guilt. And no treatment.

If we're going to go this route, we should at least have the guts to admit that what we're actually doing is denying care.

ReallyTired Fri 15-Mar-13 10:11:23

"The uk immigration system has allowed this family (and the child) to remain in the country. "

NO !!!

The family have overstayed their visa. They are illegal immigrants. If the govenant pays for this child to have treatment then it sets a present. It means that any illegal immigrant can turn up, take the piss and demand free health care.

"The child has done nothing wrong. "

Children in developing countries with medical conditions have done nothing wrong. Not every child in the world is entitled to free health care at the expense of the UK tax payer.

What does take the piss is that the family will probably get legal aid which amounts to more than the cost of the operation. I feel that the parents should approach charities for help with the costs of the operation.

givemeaclue Fri 15-Mar-13 10:12:37

They are seeing her as an outpatient. For inpatients there is a fee. Can't see problem?

DontmindifIdo Fri 15-Mar-13 10:16:51

Is childbirth free on the NHS if you aren't entitled to NHS treatment? when I had DS I was living in a part of south london with a large immigrate community, I had to provide proof to the hospital I was been booked into that I was entitled to NHS treatment prior to the birth - I believe I took it along when I went for my 12 week scan.

She wasn't entitled to scans and routine treatments, although I suppose if you present in labour they'll treat you first and work out later if you're entitled. I understand some hospitals are better at recovering the costs than others.

This isn't an emergancy, the hosptial won't get funding. The family shouldn't have been here by the time the mother got pregnant, let alone had the baby. There's a lot to be said for using this as a reason why it's better to remove people once their work permits expire rather than leave it until they've been living here illegally for several years and there's now a crisis in the family.

The uk government could have taken steps to remove these 'illegal immigrants' at any point in the last 6 years. They don't seem to have done so.

It's very easy to wail about 'illegal immigrants' etc.

In signing the UNCRC, the UK agreed to support other countries in ensuring the rights of the children who live within their borders. So the DFID does provide support with healthcare, etc. The convention doesn't compel them to ensure healthcare provision for all children in the world themselves, but in signing it the government did agree to ensure healthcare provision rights for all children living in the UK.

But, of course, this is all about the money. It doesn't matter about the people involved. Or the fact that we are talking about a very young child. Clearly she needs to be punished for her parents' actions,

JaquelineHyde Fri 15-Mar-13 10:25:25

The child in question is BRITISH by birth

Surely we have no right to deny a British citizen who would have a British birth certificate treatment on the NHS.

This child will be entitled to a British Passport like anyone else born here but because her parents are foreigners who have over stayed she is being denied free treatment like every other British born child.

FYI the parents will also not be allowed to claim a single penny in child benefit or tax credits etc for this child despite the child being a British born citizen. I suspect that makes some of you feel all warm and fuzzy inside as well! hmm angry

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Mar-13 10:30:02

I think the child should be treated, as it is a time-sensitive issue.
However, she isn't going to be a British citizen as she is not the child of British citizens, nor has she or they been granted indefinite leave to stay.
She'll have to apply.

Pleasesleep Fri 15-Mar-13 10:30:30

I'm pretty left wing but I don't see that they can treat the child for free. She's not entitled to free care as she isn't a UK citizen. It's fairly unreasonable for the parents to expect it especially as they are here illegally.

I don't think the UN convention applies because they are here illegally? I'm not an expert but with things like benefits you're not entitled unless you are a uk national, that could similarly affect the rights of the child I.e. no food etc. and there has never been a legal challenge. I would have thought it would come up before now if it did contravene the UN. I think the risk is it sets a precedent for future cases, ultimately we can't fund everyone. That's terribly sad and unfair but we just can't. We have to prioritise, and we have chosen to prioritise our own citizens. Argue against that priority if you like, but you should then be fully aware of the consequences that would bring.

I don't think the child is a uk citizen. Being born here does not make you a citizen.

But, the child is a child. And the UK has responsibilities towards that child. It doesn't make any difference who her parents are or what they've done. This vulnerable, disabled child lives in the UK (through no fault of her own) and requires medical help.

But people would rather gnash their teeth about her parents being illegal immigrants.

Goldmandra Fri 15-Mar-13 10:33:50

In my view the authorities are allowing her parents to remain in this country while certain processes are under way. If they should be sent back, this should happen now. If there is a reason originating from UK policies to delay this, the UK should ensure the child's welfare in the meantime.

If the family was returned to their home country the welfare of the child becomes the responsibility of that government alongside all of the other children resident there. Sadly, that probably (but by no means certainly) means that this operation would not be available to her.

While she is present in this country through no fault of her own I feel that she is entitled to the same care and support as any other child. She should also be entitled to an education, nutrition, social services intervention, etc.

Were her family to be given leave to remain she would then be entitled to costly treatment and support to help reduce the impact of the disability on her future life. Giving her the operation on the NHS could save system a considerable amount of money.

Pleasesleep Fri 15-Mar-13 10:33:55
ReallyTired Fri 15-Mar-13 10:34:19

Being born in Britain does not automatically entitle you to a British passport.

Her parents were not settled in the UK and neither of them have British citizenship.
The baby is not entitled to british citizenship. Sanika was only born in the UK because her parents broke the law and were here illegally.

"FYI the parents will also not be allowed to claim a single penny in child benefit or tax credits etc for this child despite the child being a British born citizen. I suspect that makes some of you feel all warm and fuzzy inside as well!"

Its not OUR problem. What about other BRITISH people who need treatment on the NHS. Hard decisions have to be made as the NHS does not have a money tree.

Trazzletoes Fri 15-Mar-13 10:36:03

Oh Jacqueline you absolutely do NOT get British Cotizenship by having been born here!

Why can't her parents pay? I would assume that they have little or no money.

Antenatal care is definitely not free on the NHS. I don't believe that childbirth is either. I'm fairly sure I know someone who has been billed for giving birth.

The UNCRC applies to all children, regardless of immigration status (although there are special provisions within it for refugee children). It's about the universal rights of children.

The child can have the medical help but her parents will need to pay for it - just as they would in their own country.
I agree this is a very difficult and sad situation but the NHS is not a world-wide system for healthcare provision and it is very far from a bottomless pit. The pot of money is the same as provides free contraception for all of us, antenatal care, transplant surgery, physiotherapy and some fertility investigations and treatment to name but a few. It is impossible for the NHS to meet every need. We can't do it. i know this is going to sound brutal but the child needs life enhancing treatment, not life saving.

JaquelineHyde Fri 15-Mar-13 10:40:26

Apologies if I got that wrong.

So right if she's not British then lets leave her to rot hmm

Wow what a lot of heartless bastards there are in this world.

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