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To think if you don't pay into the NHS system you can't expect to be treated for free?

65 replies

oljam · 12/12/2007 22:30

I have a neighbour who's daughter in law has just given birth in a London hospital. The thing is my neighbour married a Serb when she was in her 20's (60 odd now) has never worked in the UK and has never paid NHS contributions or tax. She doesn't even live there now, and is constantly slagging off the UK.

She has a 30 year old son, who holds a British passport, however he has spent all his life in Serbia and has never worked in the UK, his wife is Serbian and does not hold a British passport. About 7 weeks before the baby was due they travelled to the UK because they wanted the baby to born there. The first hospital they went to in Kingston upon Thames I think, told them that because she didn't have a British passport they would have to pay £5,000 for the privilege of giving birth in a UK hospital. So they went to another hospital, and I believe forgot to mention her passport status. They've recently had their baby and they're about to scoot off back to Serbia just after Christmas, so no chance of getting any money off them.

Now I also live abroad and pay the country I live in for my medical treatment, I don't expect it to be any different. My neighbour was so indignant that her son had been expected to pay, but I ask why not, neither he nor his mother have contributed anything financially to our NHS system why should he expect it all for nothing? But then when I say this to her, that just gets her into a racist rant about immigrants.

I think what has pissed me off is this woman takes every opportunity to slag off the UK, the health service etc, having never really experienced it, but it's fine to deliver her grandchild and then for her son to bugger off back to Serbia before being hit with any bills.

So am I being unreasonable?

OP posts:
jinglebells2shoessmells · 12/12/2007 22:31

yanbu and you know it.

VVVExcitedAboutChristmasQV · 12/12/2007 22:33

I detest NHS tourists.

expatinscotland · 12/12/2007 22:33

FWIW, you do not need to a be a British passport holder to legally access NHS care. People on student visas, work permits, resident in teh UK on other visas (ancestry, permanent resident, working holidaymaker, spouse visas, etc.) are entitled to it, as are citizens of other EU nations living in the UK.

But I do think that there should be more stringent checks on whether or not a person is indeed eligible to use the NHS if it's a non-emergency case.

oljam · 12/12/2007 22:34

Wow that was fast. I just wanted a rant really, it's been bugging me all day.

OP posts:
DeePandcrisPandeven · 12/12/2007 22:35

ditto 2shoes.

FairyMum · 12/12/2007 22:36

I would report them to the Daily Mail

oljam · 12/12/2007 22:37

Yes but they were told that because she didn't have a passport they would have to pay, so then they went to a different hospital to try and avoid paying. But it's not just the not paying that bugs me, it's slagging off a system but then taking advantage of it when it suits.

OP posts:
DeePandcrisPandeven · 12/12/2007 22:37

sorry misread 2shoes' tiny post!!


edam · 12/12/2007 22:38

YANBU to be a bit fed up with this woman, who sounds both rude and stupid.

But I'm glad the NHS treats people first and asks questions afterwards. Far better to let the odd health tourist get a free pass than to have paramedics dumping people at the side of the road because they don't have the right visa (or VISA).

moljam · 12/12/2007 22:38

i think yanbu.
but also your name is very much same as mine-it confused me as in my tired state i thought-'i didnt write that!'

VVVExcitedAboutChristmasQV · 12/12/2007 22:38


moljam · 12/12/2007 22:39

oh and what edam said

ggirlsbells · 12/12/2007 22:39


There is a whole thread about people living abroad coming back to GB to have their babies.I don't know if these people make NI contriutions or not but if not it is completely taking the piss.One of the reasons the NHS is floundering.

FairyMum · 12/12/2007 22:39

YANBU. My cat could be a GP.

FairyMum · 12/12/2007 22:41

ops....wrong thread

NorthernLurkerwithastarontop · 12/12/2007 22:41

The hospital had to treat her and of course we wish mum and baby well - but yes it is bloody annoying!

pukkapatch · 12/12/2007 22:42

beleive me, they will be stuck with a huge bill. i am assuming that they stayed with your neigbour when they were here? that meanst that address is down. and when they find out that the mother and baby are not living there, then they will send a bill. nurses hv's etc are all supposed to report all this.
the fact that your neighbour hasnt worked here is neither here not there. she lives here andher dh has presumably worked here. so she is entitled.the fact that she is a cow is also not applicable.

my dsister, born here, educated here. etc . moved to pakistan in september 2006 married in january 2007 to her dh who lives there. came here for a visti in may2007 at about 15 weeks pregnant. she went to see the gp and the midwife att he hospital. purely for my benefit. i was rather selfishly trying to convince her to have the baby here. so anyways, basically she has been out of the country for such a short period of time. half her stuff is still inmy garage! and yetthe NHS are charging her 150 pounds for the check ups.
she wrote tto them explaining that she was shocked that after such a short time awya she had lost her entitlement, and that she went to the doctor innocently believing she was entitled to, having been born here and lived a lot of her life here, but no, apparently it's tod o with residence.
to regain entitle ment, she willhave to show either profo of purchase of property in th euk, or rent, etc.
we wer gobsmacked

VVVExcitedAboutChristmasQV · 12/12/2007 22:43

Edam - it's not a case of "the odd tourist".

I wouldnt ever dream of expecting paramedics not to treat someone who was in need of emergency treatment.

I become increasingly disgruntled at people hopping over the channel, or on to a plane to get treatment/operations in the UK and bugger off without paying for it. Because non-residents/passport holders MUST pay for their treatment, the same way residents and passport holders do (except we pay into an insurance scheme to pre-empt such stuff).

Mind you, I get very disgruntled with any folk who dont pay bills for services rendered in a trusting, non-judgemental manner.

DeePandcrisPandeven · 12/12/2007 22:43

Weeell..exactly who is doing the slagging off? The son/d.i.l.?/ No. the neighbour. No slagging off done by the actual recipients of the care. And I am curious about why a mother would travel from Serbia to give birth in London. Can you describe the added benefits of this unobtainable elsewhere in Serbia/Europe?? This sort of ranting just makes me wish to read it carefully/between the lines/what's not being said.

oljam · 12/12/2007 22:43

Well I live abroad and pay my NI contributions so it's quite possible that the people who come back have paid into the system.

OP posts:
oljam · 12/12/2007 22:50

The recipients of the health care are more than happy with the treatment they have received. They're not staying with my neighbour she doesn't live in the UK, they have rented a flat for their stay in the UK. I have absolutely no idea why they chose to travel to the UK. They are both doctors in their native country maybe they had more of insight into their own health care system. Although, my neighbour did make some mention of them wanting the baby to have a British passport too, but I was under the impression if its father had a British passport it would be entitled wherever in the world it was born.

We constantly hear that the NHS is struggling and I just don't think this kind of abuse helps a struggling system. Obviously I don't expect paramedics or any other healthcare professional to abandon somebody at the side of the road etc, medical emergencies happen. But this was quite calculated.

OP posts:
edam · 12/12/2007 22:52

I dunno Deep, but have a vague memory of a friend who is married to a Serb telling me a horror story about visiting a maternity unit over there. Very 1950s, babies in cots in the nursery, fathers only allowed to gaze through the window, definitely no admittance kind of stuff.

VVVExcitedAboutChristmasQV · 12/12/2007 22:54

Edam - that sounds like my local maternity unit

pukkapatch · 12/12/2007 22:54

report them. if it bothers you that much, then report them.
but i still think it is something that will be picked up on. as i said, by dsister went along perfectly innconetly, and now has to pay ahuge fine. she decided not to have the baby here, for reasons that hve nothing to o with the nhs.
just make a phone callk and they will have to pay for theire calculations.

mrsruffallo · 12/12/2007 22:57

A lot of people come back because they have to pay for healthcare in other countries. If the NHS was flourishing i wouldn't mind at all but it relies on people paying into it through a working wage in this country.
As was said before, if it was the odd person fine but this has become a very big problem for the NHS, largely due to the fact that they have lost a lot of money by not chasing this in the past.
I used to work for the NHS and people's atitudes to it is quite astounding. For example, when patients have mobilty issues they are entitled to 'patient transport' in the form of ambulances and ambulance staff ferrying them to and from hospital. Many well people ask for this or are advised by friends to ask for it so they don't have to get the bus!
As many people do when they go abroad, get travel insurance.

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