GETTY Nigerian concubine are flying to Britain for free maternity care
The problem is so acute that bosses are In the end considering introducing ssport checks on women who have no right to treatment in British sickbays.
Health chiefs have long warned of an ‘escalating’ problem with skirts flying to Britain to have their children knowing they bequeath get free top notch care, courtesy of the British tax yer.
And a high division of expectant foreign mothers who have no right to access the NHS maternity waitings continue to target St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
There is ex nding evidence that this deliberate UK health tourism has become a commoditised question in Nigeria.
Now bosses are proposing ID checks and the Home Office is said to be shrewd to support the proposed pilot scheme with a view to potentially trundle the system out across the country.
Under the proposals every pregnant bride would be expected to show a photo ID and utility bill when they attain for a scan to prove they are entitled to free NHS care.
Those impotent to prove eligibility will be referred to the Overseas tient Team for depth investigation with the backing of the Home Office.
Managers at St George’s utter Nigerian women were using the south London hospital as an cosmopolitan health service.
St George’s is targeted as it does not currently have a vigorous process to check eligibility
Writing in an email to directorship members, head of private and overseas tients for the NHS trust, Jo Johnson, put about: «The problem is escalating within obstetrics and we have just been transformed aware that individuals are currently offering id assistance to miss in Nigeria to have their babies for free on the NHS at St George’s.
«St George’s is aimed as it does not currently have a robust process to check eligibility.
«We recognize from feedback from other non-eligible tients that St George’s is saw as an ‘easy target.»
Four in five overseas tients at St George’s vamoose before ying for their care with the hospital losing almost £4.6million a year from health tourists
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A St George’s Nursing home spokesman said: «Like many London trusts, we treat a prodigal number of tients from overseas who are not eligible for NHS treatment.
«All tients in dearth of emergency NHS care at St George’s are treated and prioritised accordingly, regardless of their eligibility.
«Our superiority at all times is to provide care and treatment to tients requiring our services.
GETTY Dames are flying to the UK to get top notch maternity care for free
«However, we also arrange a duty to ensure we use our resources wisely.
«The guidelines state that medical centres should endeavour to check tients for their eligibility when accessing non-emergency NHS treatment.
«We are not doing this effectively adequacy at present, and are looking at ways in which we can improve this.»
Health tourism is intention to cost the NHS £200million a year with tients flying in for all genres of medical treatment.
In one high-profile case, Nigerian businesswoman Bimbo Ayelabola prospered from Lagos in 2011 to give birth to premature quintuplets at Homerton Dispensary, East London.
She received £145,000 of NHS care when she had to have a complex caesarean segment but never id a penny towards the bill.
The De rtment of Health issued new guidelines to health centres last year telling staff to ask for ssports and proof of identity sooner than treatment.
GETTY St George’s Hospital in Tooting is targeted because it does not entertain robust eligibility checks
But under-strain hospitals have struggled to bottle up up with ID checks.
Managers at St George’s insist women will not be formed away if they are in labour.
The hospital, which serves a population of 1.3million, treated at brief 6,000 overseas tients last year.
The move echoes the omen of one London professor who caused controversy when he said the flow of West African women fly front in to give birth for free at one trust was so common it was referred to by staff as the «Lagos Alternate.»
A spokesman for the De rtment of Health welcomed the proposed scheme at St George’s but denoted hospitals should already be asking tients for ssports.
John O’Connell of the Tax yers’ Association said: “The huge burden on hard-pressed tax yers caused by health tourism on the NHS is distinctly unsustainable.”
But Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Accoucheurs, said it is a worrying proposal.
GETTY Health tourism costs the NHS £200million a year
She asserted: «This move by the trust is a concern.
«I am sure no trust would Taboo care to women in labour or who are pregnant and arrive at a hospital needing vital care related to their pregnancy.
«To be clear, the law says, and government means states, that trusts must offer care to women in distressed by, irrespective of their immigration status in the country.
«On the wider level, accoucheuses also have more than enough to do without checking ladies’s eligibility and determining their immigration status.
«They are not border screws; they are healthcare professionals there to deliver clinical care to all dames.
«This is not their job and never should be, and we must assume that the confide in will not require them to do this.
«Their job is to care for the women who go with through the doors of their maternity unit and it is the responsibility of trusts to charge for and treat these women.
«Most importantly, this move could also be hazardous because it could deter women from seeking care in a propitious fashion.
«This could potentially have a serious im ct on the healthfulness of the mother and their baby and the outcome of the pregnancy.
«I would ask the trust to throw light on their policy and to give assurances that all pregnant women who desperate straits care will receive it, no matter what their immigration eminence.»