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Not living in uk but risk giving birth in uk

(49 Posts)
apachepony Mon 03-Dec-12 02:35:11

I have british passport but am not living in the uk, but intend to be in the uk for 4-5 days over the holidays visiting family. I will be 37 weeks pregnant. It's suddenly just struck me - if I go into labour will I be landed with a massive nhs bill? I don't know how i didn't think of this before.... Damn i don't want to have to rearrange my entire holiday plans!!!

tinyshinyanddon Mon 03-Dec-12 02:53:48

Sure someone else will be along soon that can answer this better but thought I would start things off. It all depends how long you have been away from the UK and through what means. For example I have not been ordinarily resident for 11 years so when we use the NHS when on vacation, we are charged upfront and reclaim it through our insurance. But their are ways you can leave but keep your residency status (think you have to be resident for so many days-per-year).

tinyshinyanddon Mon 03-Dec-12 02:55:06

there NOT their (for benefit of the spelling police).

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 03-Dec-12 03:01:34

Where is your usual country of residence? If it's in the EU or a Commonwealth country there's a reciprocal agreement with the other countries' health systems so it shouldn't cost anything. Full list of countries here.

FergusSingsTheBlues Mon 03-Dec-12 03:28:04

You wont be allwed to fly that late!

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 03-Dec-12 03:48:35

A) she mightn't be flying

B) she can with a letter from her doctor saying they think it's safe for her to fly.

apachepony Mon 03-Dec-12 08:18:29

Not flying - in the eu. Will be a 3 to 4 hour drive away from my hospital so maybe should just try to get s

apachepony Mon 03-Dec-12 08:20:55

Not flying - in the eu, and not resident in uk for years. Will be a 3 to 4 hour drive away from my hospital so maybe should just try to get someone to drive me back there at the first sign of contractions? Liked the idea of being able to pay for a private room on the nhs if went into labour while in uk, forgot I might have to pay for everything else as well!

LarkinSky Mon 03-Dec-12 08:27:37

No you won't. I did this. To be honest no one will probably even ask for proof you're British. It's not a problem and definitely no bill. Ps BA let you fly until 36 weeks and 6 days.

PickleSarnie Mon 03-Dec-12 09:18:33

That's actually quite depressing lark. That an already overstretched nhs is being stretched even further by not checking eligibility and giving free treatment to those that aren't entitled to it.

apachepony Mon 03-Dec-12 09:45:42

Ha my family are so law abiding they would probably dob me in and my sister in law works in the hospital I would have to go to...also surely they would ask about maternity care up to now, so it would be obvious I was living elsewhere? My baby needs some tests after birth so I would prefer to be in my own hospital, just at 37 weeks I guess I at least need to be aware of the possibility of going into labour. If that's correct about the eu reciprocal arrangements I will be much happier to lawfully not have to pay!

Floralnomad Mon 03-Dec-12 09:50:08

Just to reassure people the NHS is really cracking down on non UK/EU citizens now . Nothing to do with your OP I know !

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Mon 03-Dec-12 11:21:13

The EU reciprocal arrangements (European Health Card) covers emergency treatment only. It does not cover routine or planned care. So it doesn't cover childbirth.

That said, I've never been asked for proof of elligibility when visiting the UK, but that has been for treatment which is covered. So maybe that's why they never bothered even though I told them I was not a UK resident.

Bonsoir Mon 03-Dec-12 11:26:07

No, you won't get a bill.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 03-Dec-12 12:48:06

Wouldn't going into labour before 38 weeks be considered an emergency rather than routine/planned?

Saying all this, OP'll probably go two weeks over and will need gin and a trampoline to get things going grin

crunchingautumnleaves Mon 03-Dec-12 12:58:12

Elphaba, don't know re this issue of paying/not paying etc but 37 weeks onwards is considered full term.

ilovemydogandMrObama Mon 03-Dec-12 13:02:10

am wondering though how much the bill would be? Think the cost of a straightforward delivery, hesitant to use the word 'normal,' is about £2600.00?

Northernlurker Mon 03-Dec-12 13:08:24

According to this advice here an ehic card would cover you at 37 weeks because you're not at term then and you aren't coming over here intending to give birth. best thing to do is ring the hospital local to your family and explain your plans and see if the person who deals with overseas visitors considers that you are covered by EHIC.

Northernlurker Mon 03-Dec-12 13:08:51

I thought term was 38 weeks too?

soapnuts Mon 03-Dec-12 13:31:41

I'm in a similar situation (except I'm actually planning to be here for the birth). If you go to the hospital in labour they will ask about your prenatal care up to that point and if you don't have a regular GP in the UK they will get their cashiers department to ask you some more questions and you will probably get a bill. Individual staff might not know what to do about charging you but they are getting (quite rightly!) much hotter at finding people who are not entitled to NHS treatment.

I'll be paying for my treatment (I had to sign a form to say I would and I pay for each antenatal appointment as I go along). I've had several NHS staff tell me I should have lied and said we were living here. Personally I couldn't do that.

Of course you should check if you're definitely not entitled to NHS treatment - If you've been away for less than 5 years and you have lived in the UK for 10 years at some point then you're still ok if I recall correctly. There are other exceptions too.

I don't have my notes on me right now but I have a list of the costs if you need it - I think it's about £1000 for me if I have a vaginal delivery and stay one night (plus of course all the antenatal care - £20 an appointment - and any blood tests etc). I thought it was pretty reasonable! (especially as I'll be claiming back from insurance). (ultrasound seemed quite pricey though at over £100 for a 20 second position check!)

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Mon 03-Dec-12 13:48:55

I now think my previous post was wrong. According to the NHS website visitors from EU countries covered by a European Health Card (which is NOT all of them) are entitled to full NHS hospital treatment free of charge. Those without the card or from outside the EU are only entitled to emergency treatment.

So it looks like it depends entirely on whether you are insured by the state in the country you live in and thus have a European Health Card issued by that country.

Rosa Mon 03-Dec-12 13:58:26

WIth both my pg I was in the UK for longish periods of time - I am British non resident but reside in a EU country. ( Last pg was 4 years ago but things might have changed). I had MW checks, urine and blood tests and antibiotics as I had an infection. I was going also to have a scan but as things cleared up it was not needed. FOr all visits I had to fill out the Non resident paperwork - I offered to pay and was told that it was covered by the EU treaty. Also my dds when they have been ill in the Uk have been treated for free.
Its not exacty relevant ( but it is to me) I paid more than 25 years NI contributions and have had 1 year of Child Benefit back , ( plus the odd GP visit) so when I do get treated I don't feel guilty.
I live overseas so understand I am not entitled to anything BTW before I get a bashing !!!

Northernlurker Mon 03-Dec-12 15:04:13

Rosa you didn't have to pay because you were getting emergency treatment. Although it was pregnancy related it was also an emergency iyswim. if you'd come over and wanted to book in to have your baby here in advance of going in to labour then I think you'd have run in to a bill.

baublesandbaileys Mon 03-Dec-12 15:32:31

it actually has nothing to do with having a british passport, it is to do with "normal residency"

if you are not a normal resident, even if you have a british passport, you can get free gp or a&e care but further inpatient care is charged

basically you are covered for emergencies only if you are not a normal resident. its has nothing to do with your passport!

baublesandbaileys Mon 03-Dec-12 15:33:21

(sorry didn't convert)

its very common for people who live abroad who have british passports to think they are covered for everything, they are not

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