British’s NHS emands £3,000 From Harare Mom In Child Birth Charges

THE UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is demanding £3,000 from a Zimbabwean mother after she gave birth at Norwich University Hospital in 2013.

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34-year-old Caroline Nyadzayo’s unpaid bill is part of the £62million cost of ‘health tourism’ to Britain which has become key campaign issue along with immigration ahead of the country’s May elections.

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The Harare-based advertising executive was pictured with UK health minister Daniel Poulter on his visit to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital when the maternity suite was reopened.

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Nyadzayo, who gave birth at the Norfolk hospital in December 2013, told The Sunday Times it was ‘unfair’ she was still being pursued, because the baby’s father is British.

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She said: “I understand that the NHS is looking after the interests of its citizens such as healthcare … and ensuring that foreigners who are not entitled to it do not use it.

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“I know the system may believe I travelled [to Britain] to abuse the NHS benefits, but as a matter of fact I just wanted to have my first baby as a family and surely everyone is entitled to that.”

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The couple were questioned about the birth when they entered Britain at Norwich Airport in October 2013.

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However, they were released when they agreed they would be paying for it.

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Nyadzayo said: “I had my visa cancelled and (was) held by immigration for about five hours.

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“I was told because I was 31 weeks pregnant it was likely I was going to use the NHS to my advantage.

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“We said we would pay for the birth. But we had no idea how much we’d be charged.”

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Her case was profiled as figures suggested hospitals’ failure to claw back the cost of treating Europeans is costing taxpayers millions of pounds a week.

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The department of health said visiting foreigners could use the NHS as long as they can pay for it.

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“We want international visitors to feel welcome to use the NHS provided they pay for it – just as families in the UK do through their taxes,” an official said.