Why did they bring him here ?

(97 Posts)
sadie3 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:37:59


A severely-ill patient from the Middle East is being treated in a London hospital suffering from a mystery respiratory virus that has killed two patients in Saudi Arabia.

The 49-year-old man is in intensive care after being transferred to the UK via air-ambulance from Qatar where he was taken ill a few weeks ago having recently visiting Riyadh.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the infection is a new type of coronavirus different from any previously found in humans.

kinkyfuckery Mon 24-Sep-12 14:39:40

Maybe the hospital out there don't have the means to treat/test him?

redlac Mon 24-Sep-12 14:40:22

Maybe he is British?

SaraSidle Mon 24-Sep-12 14:41:25

maybe we dont either?

we certainly dont have the money....and its nature is unknown. how would we manage a breakout of it here if its really so contagious and life threatening?

sadie3 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:42:34

The report said he is from the Middle East.

quoteunquote Mon 24-Sep-12 14:43:14

Maybe the hospital wanted a chance to study it.

Ithinkitsjustme Mon 24-Sep-12 14:45:24

Because whatever people may say about the NHS, it is an incredibe institution and he probably stands a better chance of treatment and survival here than anywhere else in the world.

Pandemoniaa Mon 24-Sep-12 14:47:12

Probably because it's a cunning plan to launch a deadly pandemic on the western world, OP.

Or just possibly for all the other reasons stated upthread.

Paiviaso Mon 24-Sep-12 14:49:23

I'm guessing because he has money to pay for it. From the Huffington Post:

"Britain's Health Protection Agency and the World Health Organization said in statements that the 49-year-old Qatari national became ill on Sept. 3, having previously traveled to Saudi Arabia. He was transferred from Qatar to Britain on Sept. 11 and is being treated in an intensive care unit at a London hospital for problems including kidney failure. Respiratory viruses aren't usually known to cause serious kidney problems.

The Health Protection Agency said it was unaware of any ties the patient had to Britain and that he likely was in a private clinic in the Middle East before being transferred to the London hospital. It said none of the health workers involved in his treatment had fallen ill."

caramelwaffle Mon 24-Sep-12 14:49:51

My first thought was he is British.

Second - he is not, but has the means to pay and the NHS has some of the best medicine in the world (and they wish to study him)

Thinking some more (and having read the article) my thoughts go along the lines of a James Bond plot however, I'll stick with thought number one for now.

redlac Mon 24-Sep-12 14:50:37
OTheHugeManatee Mon 24-Sep-12 14:51:27

Most NHS hospitals also accept some private patients. No doubt this man is one of them <shrug>

sadie3 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:56:59

A Qatari man infected with a potentially-fatal SARS-like virus is being held in quarantine at a London hospital.
The 49-year-old man, who had travelled to Saudi Arabia before falling ill, is in critical condition in an intensive care unit. He has become infected with a new type of virus which experts know little about.
It is only the second time in the world that this particular strain of coronavirus has been identified - the last time was roughly three months ago.

We have enough problems keeping our hospitals free of germs, do we really need a potentially fatal SARS like virus here?

Ithinkitsjustme Mon 24-Sep-12 15:01:24

No, we don't need a "potentially fatal SARS like virus here", but then I'm sure that the gentleman in question doesn't "need" it either, or anyone/ anywhere else either. Lets just hope they find a cure for him and for everyone else.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 24-Sep-12 15:01:30

Certain hospitals in London have specialist ICUs with isolation facilities for example the School of Tropical Medicine. The other way of looking at it is he is probably paying a shed load of money to be treated in an NHS hospital our clinicians will be able to run tests to their hearts content as he is paying so the information they are gaining is huge. Meaning that should they have to treat a UK patient on NHS money they will be able to be much more focused,

EldritchCleavage Mon 24-Sep-12 15:03:52

Yes, because only we and a handful of other highly developed countries have the means to study and treat these illnesses. And because once it is out there in the world, it will probably crop up here eventually, so it is better to grasp the nettle and get a head start.

This isn't pure altruism or mere self-interest, I suspect, but a healthy combination of the two. Countries tend to liaise through the World Health Organisation when new diseases come up, for mutual benefit. Different research teams in different countries do separate bits in the race for a vaccine.

Generally not a situation for Little Englander attitudes.

OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Mon 24-Sep-12 15:06:05

I think it is very unlikely that he is on an open ward and that staff are popping in and out with gay abandon.
They know he has an infectious illness.
He will be in isolation.
Unlike thousands of others wandering around London as we speak, spreading whatever germs they have.

caramelwaffle Mon 24-Sep-12 15:07:44

We do not have a comprehensive quarantine system for humans travelling in and out of the UK (as of 2012):

a coronavirus, such as this man has, does not usually last more than 24 hours outside of a human body and is easily destroyed by detergents or other cleaning agents.

As Lonecat says, London has specialist ICU's - populated by highly skilled and knowledgeable clinicians.

The NHS will treat him and he will be billed (or his estate) at a later date.

Pandemoniaa Mon 24-Sep-12 15:10:42

I'd much prefer this poor chap to be in quarantine and being treated at a specialist unit in the UK than I would he were left in his home community, possibly without access to decent health care so that the disease has the best possible chance of spreading, unchecked and untreated. Because disease rarely respects boundaries and once it is out there, we are all vulnerable.

As said, upthread, Little Englander attitudes are unhelpful in this situation.

Pandemoniaa Mon 24-Sep-12 15:11:26

PS. Actually, I can't think of any situation which calls for Little Englander attitudes!

No other country in the world would accept someone with a deadly unknown virus and fly them to one of their hospitals.
Another example of stupidity in Britain.
Lets hope it doesn't spread

JugglingWithPossibilities Mon 24-Sep-12 15:17:03

I think the OP has a point and some caution could have been exercised in admitting him to the UK. Hopefully it was, I don't know. And hopefully caramel is right that the virus "does not last more than 24 hrs outside the human body" & "is easily destroyed by detergents" etc. Hopefully that gives the rest of us adequate protection from the risk of it spreading widely ?

Bluestocking Mon 24-Sep-12 15:37:55

Bloody hell, he probably caught it off a goat. It's political correctness gone mad! Why should the NHS be treating these nasty foreign diseases anyway? What's wrong with nice English diseases?

georgie22 Mon 24-Sep-12 15:45:08

As it's been noted up thread this man or the country he has come here from will be billed for his care. He will be nursed in isolation and all precautions will be taken. Would you prefer he was left in his home country to die? Says a lot about the status of the NHS in the rest of the world.

FelicitywasSarca Mon 24-Sep-12 15:52:26

OP this is one of the most xenophobic posts I've ever read on the Internet.

A man is gravely ill. We have the means to treat him. He has the means to pay.

Treating him will benefit our medical research and is his best chance of living

And you take hysterical issue with that? Are you really arrogant enough to assume that you have thought through the safety implications more thoroughly that the medical staff involved?

Disgusting attitude.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Mon 24-Sep-12 15:57:47

YY Felicity

I'm sure the fully-trained medical staff will have taken the risks into account before agreeing to admit this man for treatment that may save his live.

TheGoldenKnid Mon 24-Sep-12 15:58:45

No other country in the world would accept someone with a deadly unknown virus and fly them to one of their hospitals.

And how do you know that? hmm

threeorangesocksmorganisagirl Mon 24-Sep-12 16:00:37

I am surprised that someone who has infection that is contagious would be able to travel.

Catsdontcare Mon 24-Sep-12 16:00:49

Dec 2012 end of the world, this is beginning of the end folks.

How horribly xenophobic OP.

Really stinky attitude.

The guy is Qatari and probably looking for the best treatment money can buy. Hopefully he has found it in one of our truly wonderful hospitals.

The research/knowledge to be gained will no doubt be far greater than any perceived risks or else immigration/nhs would not have agreed to let him fly here in the first place.

I'm a little in shock about your post tbh.

I hope they can treat him, and I wish him the very best for recovery. I hope his family have been able to come over and be with him during what must be a very worrying time for them.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 24-Sep-12 16:11:30

Oh he's from the Middle East!
This is a terrorist plot to spread an evil pandamic across the UK.!!!
Get your OFRS ready everybody.
<goes of to find a bunker.

Catsdontcare maybe this is the start of the end-the world is supposed to be ending on 21st december!
I do hope the man gets better, i truely do but surely putting the uk at risk isn't a good idea, what if the people treating him catch it and give it to their families & so on and so forth? It will be catastrophique

EdMcDunnough Mon 24-Sep-12 16:19:59

If the world ends in December that means I don't have to give birth again. Hooray.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 24-Sep-12 16:22:19

And we won't have to buy any Christmas presents.

apostropheuse Mon 24-Sep-12 16:22:54

The man is able and willing to pay. There is a chance our NHS may be able to help him. This is wonderful and I hope he is healed and goes home to his family.

I'm also extremely grateful to the non-UK countries who accept British Citizens who need to travel abroad for treatment.

It is totally appropriate that we act in a humane and civilised manner.

ChazsGoldAttitude Mon 24-Sep-12 16:26:56

Of course - does this virus turn people to zombies too.

<<Dons tinfoil hat and hides under desk>>

Catsdontcare Mon 24-Sep-12 16:28:24

<pops hand sanitizer in ofrs>

edam Mon 24-Sep-12 16:32:21

A lot of foreign patients who should pay leave the country without ever paying their medical bills. Hope that isn't the case here - and obviously hope he recovers - but don't assume foreign patients are a money-making opportunity for the NHS.

Catsdontcare Mon 24-Sep-12 16:33:08

I am rather amused that people think if the man was left to be treated in another country then the uk would be immune to risk. Swine flu anyone? A serious virus is a worldwide concern

Ullena Mon 24-Sep-12 16:34:20

The world will not end in December: the Mayan Calender was never renewed due to all the Mayans being killed by conquistadors and their germs! Including the calender maker, one Tchuknik who was all set for a new calender that included chocolate inserts grin

Seriously, it makes sense for this poor person to be treated and his illness studied, we need to start work on a cure/vaccine now before it reaches anywhere near epidemic levels.

SapphireandFevertree Mon 24-Sep-12 16:34:23

"I am surprised that someone who has infection that is contagious would be able to travel."
He didn't fly in on easy jet. He came in a private plane. It sounds like he was transfered to the uk because no one knew what was wrong with him and we don't quarenteen humans, only animals.

brandysoakedbitch Mon 24-Sep-12 16:36:43

Where do you think he should have gone OP?

Wow! DM reader much????

threeorangesocksmorganisagirl Mon 24-Sep-12 16:37:33

hmm, he is in quarantine now

Catsdontcare Mon 24-Sep-12 16:45:59

Well brandy he should have been left in the Middle East and the army should have built a big wall around that part of the world and we would be all safe forever. Obvious innit?

reddwarf Mon 24-Sep-12 16:47:59

Of course peole can be quarantined too hmm "Quarantine can be applied to humans, but also to animals of various kinds."

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to ask why he's been brought here, and who's footing the bill.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 24-Sep-12 16:50:57

Quarantine in a hospital is different from quarantine for animals when they arrive from outside of the country, animals are usually held for a time to ensure they're not incubating any viruses.

Edam if the man was flown in specifically for treatment he will have paid for the privilege already, I don't think (& I'm willing to be corrected) the uk flies in random people with interesting illnesses purely for altruistic purposes as a norm. He sounds like a rich influential person who can afford the best care and has paid & will no doubt pay the balance at the end of his treatment. A non British national would not get a private flight to a uk hospital at the tax payers expense. I don't think a British national would either come to think of it.

SaraSidle Mon 24-Sep-12 16:54:46

edam there was an article last week about the bills foreign tourists and those coming here for treatment,rack up. some hospital trusts are now asking for payment up front...iirc chase farm was one!

MrClaypole Mon 24-Sep-12 16:58:50

Am genuinely curious to know how he got clearance from an airline and the port health authority etc to travel if he is so ill?

<bitter experience missing holiday due to chickenpox and airline quite rightly refusing travel>

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 24-Sep-12 17:10:17

I haven't seen this story apart from this thread.
But surely if he has a notifiable disease and been brought over here in a private plane, then put into quarantine it must be serious.
So who better than the experts in the health service to treat it?
Where should he go, the Middle East clearly doesn't have the expertise.

Claypole - I'm sure he didn't hop on a BA flight and ask to be taken to the nearest hospital when arriving at Heathrow hmm

This is nothing new - it happens all the time! Our hospitals provide some of the most advanced techniques in the world to all sorts of paying customers.

It is only newsworthy as this particular man is suffering from a never seen before virus.

threeorangesocksmorganisagirl Mon 24-Sep-12 17:15:04

I don't think Clapypole deserves a hmm
that is what I don't get, even on private plane surely there are still checks made.

ThursdayWillBeTheDay Mon 24-Sep-12 17:20:30

Quick! Where's the zombie plan???? shock

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 24-Sep-12 17:27:55

Where's SarahStratton* when you need her.
Eh? Eh?
This could be an emergency situation.

anairofhope Mon 24-Sep-12 17:33:41

Im going to sound like a nutter now sorry but i have to tell blush

About my dream the other night. It was about a virus that turned people into zombies and the only place safe was icu as the air isfiltered and contained in the ward. But a evil man messed with the air vent and everyone got infected and i had to jump out of the window into a river to get away.

It was well scary but if there is an outbreak ICU is the best place to be!

Hope the man gets better and thoughts are with his family.

SaraBellumHertz Mon 24-Sep-12 17:39:33

He got clearance to fly because he flew on a private jet.

Other than that I cannot articulate myself any better than felicity did above.

claig Mon 24-Sep-12 17:46:51

Please read the Daily Mail article. They did not know what he had, he flew in on a private plane and went to a private hospital. He was then transferred to an NHS hospital when his condition got worse.

MrClaypole Mon 24-Sep-12 20:03:30

keithlemon I was not suggesting he got on a BA plane!!

Clearly it would have been a private one but as threeorangesocks says, even passengers arriving on private planes are subject to border checks/must complete landing cards/hold visas etc.

EatingSwansHorror Mon 24-Sep-12 20:12:55

As a man potentially lies dying in a hospital bed, someone asks who's paying. Delightful. The sense of entitlement that some of you consider yourselves to have simply because you we're born in this country is sickening. Urgh.

Great post felicity couldn't have put it better myself.

I'm horrified by some of the attitudes on here - but maybe the posters who don't care about the sick human being at the centre of this 'news' can comfort themselves with the thought that had he been left abroad and untreated, the illness could have been brought into the uk by lots of nasty foreigners who were carriers but not yet unwell themselves.

So maybe - if you think about the possible unintended benefit for yourselves it actually becomes money well spent?

OrangeandGoldMrsDeVere Mon 24-Sep-12 20:51:53

I remember a thread on another forum.
Someone started it because Russian quads were using up resources in a British hospital.
She was outraged that these babies were taking up space that English ones could be using.

I know its not the same as this thread but it has reminded me.

anairofhope Mon 24-Sep-12 21:41:54

I alway thought America had the best medical centres, equipment and drugs.

Why is the NHS better than private American care centers?

threeorangesocksmorganisagirl Mon 24-Sep-12 21:46:41

what is wrong with talking about the risk?
I don't care who pays or where someone comes from, but am just interested in how someone with a contagious infection can just enter the country.

Exactly my point threeorange

SapphireandFevertree Mon 24-Sep-12 22:14:13

Threeorange- he's not in quarantine now. Quarantine would be a period of time where he was contained to see if he developed a disease. He is in an isolation to provent transmission of a known disease to others while he is treated.
And I didn't say one couldn't quarantine people, but that we didn't. We only quarantine animals.

There are no health checks to enter the uk whether you arrive by private or commercial means. The airline may refuse you on the grounds you are not fit to fly.

harbingerofdoom Mon 24-Sep-12 22:31:58

So all those staff in the first private hospital could have caught/be carriers of this new virus.
Then he went into isolation in an NHS hospital.
Please correct me if my thoughts of widespread cont

threeorangesocksmorganisagirl Mon 24-Sep-12 22:36:56

he flew to another country.
there is no way that everyone he came into contact would have been protected as they are now.
so I wonder how many people he might have infected.
people that no doubt aren't rich.

harbingerofdoom Mon 24-Sep-12 22:55:51

As Three oranges says - airline staff etc.........

Chubfuddler Mon 24-Sep-12 23:00:21

If the world is going to end on dec. 21st I am going to spend the Xmas present money on booze, fags and cake. I don't smoke but would start again if we all have three months to live.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 24-Sep-12 23:00:29

You have the perfect nn for this thread, Harbinger.

edam Mon 24-Sep-12 23:02:54

anair - why do you assume the US has the best hospitals and healthcare? Actually the US has some of the worst outcomes in the developed world for the most expensive healthcare in the developed world. (Which is not to say US hospitals are rubbish, it's to do with the system and the barriers that stop people receiving healthcare/doing things that make money for healthcare providers rather than benefit the patient.)

Anyway, to answer your question, there are many world-class hospitals and facilities in the UK, such as Moorfields and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

MmeLindor Mon 24-Sep-12 23:10:31

Bluestocking Mon 24-Sep-12 15:37:55
Ignore | Favourite
Bloody hell, he probably caught it off a goat. It's political correctness gone mad! Why should the NHS be treating these nasty foreign diseases anyway? What's wrong with nice English diseases?

Is that sarcasm? I really can't tell.

You have won the Daily Main Bingo Prize for a MN Post 2012. Congratulations.

threeorangesocksmorganisagirl Tue 25-Sep-12 08:46:10

I love the way you can't discuss this without being accused of xenophobia or racism.
imo where and who the person is, is a side issue.
the issue imo is that someone who ever they are can travel when infectious.
they then risk infecting people they meet on their travels.

MmeLindor Tue 25-Sep-12 16:23:36

I didn't accuse everyone of xenophobia or racism, Threesocks. Just Bluestockings, based on the nasty forrin diseases and lovely English diseases. Which may or may not be an actual real comment. I can't decide.

And yes, of course it is a valid question. At the same time, many posters (like Eldritch) have given fact based answers such as the readiness of UK hospitals to admit such patients.

We are better equipped, and we could do with the money.

heroutdoors Tue 25-Sep-12 16:26:05

He was not brought here. He bought his way here. wink
He probably hired an air ambulance rather than a private plane.

Schlock Tue 25-Sep-12 16:28:29

It's been a while since we had a deadly pandemic threat. Swine flu was the last that I remember. Remember all those Mexicans who died? that was about 3 years ago now wasn't it?

I'd be more concerned about what is going on that the govt feel the need to scare people daft so that they tow the line on other things without batting an eyelid.

threeorangesocksmorganisagirl Tue 25-Sep-12 16:43:20

perhaps we need to question the UK hospitals readiness then

Bluestocking Tue 25-Sep-12 19:42:27

You can read the official information on the Health Protection Agency's website. But hysteria is so much more fun!

sashh Wed 26-Sep-12 03:30:23

We don't need this virus, but if it is infectious we will get it.

Better to study it and create a vaccine before it gets hold.

And, as he has been transferred from a private hospital, he will be billed by the NHS.

Anna1976 Wed 26-Sep-12 04:01:10

The HPA doesn't say where he's being treated, or why he was in the uk, but Re: UK hospitals' readiness: if anyone can cope, the two specialist isolation units in the UK can.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Wed 26-Sep-12 06:13:15

Can't believe all these nasty forriners coming here stealing our jobs hospital resources...

Honestly. Ridiculous thread. He flew her on his own money to a private hospital and then had to be transferred to an NHS hospital which is perfectly capable of billing him.

As for the virus - whatever. I'm no doctor can you tell but surely if this was the spark for a zombie apocalypse then someone at the airport, private hospital or NHS hospital would have noticed.

Flimflammery Wed 26-Sep-12 06:29:03

By the way (all you posters who said maybe he's British), did you know that if you've lived abroad for more than 6 MONTHS you are not allowed to get free NHS treatment. No matter that you're British and have paid national insurance all your life. I live abroad and found this out recently when visiting the UK and trying to go to a GP to get an inhaler. I tried to register as a temporary patient but because I was honest and said I live abroad, they wouldn't see me. Though they did say that if I went to A & E they wouldn't be able to turn me away.

scaevola Wed 26-Sep-12 06:37:44

I don't get why it was necessary to bring him here.

There are excellently equipped hospitals outside Britain too, and it seems bizarre to me to move internationally a patient with an infectious disease about which much is unknown. A quarantine, not a transfer regime, would be the normal response.

None of the news reports says that UK is involved in research for a vaccine. Presumably the posters who say that it is being researched here work in he escort? Can you explain why it is necessary to move the entire patient for this disease, rather than what I thought was normal (samples of virus, for study in suitable laboratory)?

OpheliasWeepingWillow Wed 26-Sep-12 07:29:50

Nobody 'brought him here'. He brought himself here presumably under the advice of his insurance company for the best treatment.

redlac Wed 26-Sep-12 07:47:31

When he arrived in the country they didn't know it was an infectious disease - only when the found out how serious it was did they move him to the isolation unit in an NHS hospital

Take this link with a massive pinch of salt because the cases aren't confirmed but Denmark are treating 5 people (two seperate families) as though they have it. lets hope that it is just precautionary. It does sound like it is.
Danish paper you'll need to shove it through google translate or similar unless your Danish is good.

Presumably when he was moved to the private British hospital by private British jet his doctors only knew he was very poorly, not that it was a potentially newly emerging disease. It was very right that he was transferred to the best possible care. He seems to be on ECMO which is a very specialised treatment indeed and we don't have that many ECMO beds in the UK ( will look up later)

RandallPinkFloyd Wed 26-Sep-12 08:25:16

I'm loving the vast medical knowledge being displayed here.

I bet the actual qualified people who facilitated and assisted in the whole process hadn't thought of most of the things mentioned on here hmm

meditrina Wed 26-Sep-12 09:45:09

Is there no clearance for medical transfers then? So anyone with anything who can get here can just rock up?

It does seem imprudent to move patients with emerging infectious diseases round the globe.

meditrina Wed 26-Sep-12 09:48:09

(Especially as a quick google shows ECMO is available in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and probably a host of places nearer to both than UK).

frasersmummy Wed 26-Sep-12 09:53:17

I dont get why we are bringing anyone into this country with an unknown infectious disease..

If this gentleman is rich enough to have his own private jet he should have enough money to pay for a specialist to treat him in his own country ..

surely you dont travel across borders with unknown contagious diseases..

Tanith Wed 26-Sep-12 10:25:02

The report on the BBC says that it isn't highly contagious.

Tanith Wed 26-Sep-12 10:28:30

I read Bluestocking's post as very much tongue-in-cheek.

EldritchCleavage Wed 26-Sep-12 11:47:44

Be careful what you wish for, those of you who feel the patient should not have been allowed into the country. Surely this is one area of life where international cooperation ought to be generous, and a priority?

Reading this thread I was reminded of the pregnant British woman who got swine flu at the height of the outbreak and was flown to Sweden for special treatment not available here.

meditrina Wed 26-Sep-12 11:51:33

Oh: are all ECMO beds in Saudi, Qatar and all places nearer to the place where the patient fell ill full?

I hadn't realised that (Sweden took the UK patient because there were no empty ECMO beds at that point in the outbreak).

EldritchCleavage Wed 26-Sep-12 12:05:31

Oh: are all ECMO beds in Saudi, Qatar and all places nearer to the place where the patient fell ill full?

I have no idea.

beginning of last year the UK had 25 ECMO beds. (wonder if that number has gone up?)

Denmark are reporting that the patients have flu not the new virus smile

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