UK changes health rules due to Nigerian woman that delivered quadruplets

Overseas patients requiring non-urgent healthcare services will now have to pay before service.

Thanks to the Nigerian mother, Priscilla, who gave birth to quadruplets and incurred a bill of £500,000.

Priscilla, 43, went into early labor at Heathrow after being turned away from the US.

Two of her babies have since died.

The remaining two are still being looked after at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in West London.

Mrs. Priscilla will not and cannot be able to repay even a fraction of her hospital treatment.

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To put this in perspective, the cost in naira is more than N350 million naira!.

UK authorities said the rule change will not apply to maternity care yet.

However, ministers are hoping it will help stop the NHS being seen as an ‘international health service’.

From April hospitals will be legally obliged to charge patients upfront for procedures which are not deemed immediately necessary.

This includes hip, knee surgery, cataract, hernias surgeries and as well as certain scans and medications.

If patients are unable to pay, doctors will be told to make a decision, based on their clinical need, as to whether the treatment should go ahead anyway.

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But many may be instructed to return to their home countries and have the procedure there.

The rules will not apply to maternity care or any treatment considered potentially life-saving or immediately necessary.

This includes scans or treatment for cancer or heart conditions as well as operations to remove the appendix.

Hospitals are also being told to ask all new patients for passports and utility bills when they first arrive at the UK.

Those which fail to show they are collecting enough money from patients at the end of the year may be fined.

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Last week a damning report from the Commons spending watchdog accused the NHS’s billing system of health tourism of being in chaos.

The Public Accounts Committee blamed hospital staff and GPs for failing even to identify which patients needed to be charged.