Sat Jul 13, 2019, 09:53 PM

when free medical care isn't free at all

NHS fees: 'Couple couldn't take baby's body home'

A couple whose baby died following an emergency Caesarean were not given the body as they were unable to pay £10,000 in medical fees, one doctor has said. Joe Rylands said the expansion of charging had caused "disbelief" among many colleagues.

The Department of Health said the charges had raised £1.3bn since 2015. In 2018, Dr Rylands was working in a maternity hospital when a woman from Western Europe on holiday in the UK came in - she was eight months pregnant and had started bleeding. Obstetricians performed an emergency Caesarean but the baby died.

When she and her partner were recovering on a ward, they were interviewed by an overseas visitors manager, in charge of billing. Because they did not have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) they were told they had to pay £10,000 for the care they received - which they could not do.....

…..One former NHS worker, who left his job in the overseas visitors department at a large London hospital last year, said he received no formal training in how to issue bills. He said rules were not applied consistently - and "easy targets" were made of those less likely to "kick up a fuss".....

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