Saturday, October 07, 2006

Quid pro quo !

[NWN: There has been this story this week about a family that went on holiday to the USA. The Mum got drunk, fell, and was in intensive care for a while. The hospital cost has skyrocketed ! They might have to sell their home in Wigan.

OK, she got drunk.

Don't people do that on holidays ?

But to leave a UK subject without lifesaving help is not on. Our Passports ask that we be given help in Her Majesties name.

The point I am making is, that 'yanks' should have to pay vast amounts for their medical expenses here in the UK too, if they do that to our people. We have many US citizens come to the UK every year and help themselves to the National Health Service (NHS).

The same should hold for any other Country that does not reciprocate to UK subjects. ]



Couple may have to sell home to pay medical bill


A WIGAN couple who fell foul of an insurance loophole while on holiday in Florida could be forced to sell their home to pay a £150,000 hospital bill.

Kathleen Ackers, 63, flew back to Britain at the weekend and was immediately taken to Wigan Royal Infirmary high dependency unit for treatment to an injury sustained on a family holiday in Orlando.

She tripped and hit head at her apartment and was treated for a brain injury at a hospital in the United States.When relatives approached Halifax Insurance to have the cost paid out of her holiday insurance policy, the company refused because she had been drinking before she fell.

Now mother-of-two Kathleen fears she will have to sell her £130,000 home in Ashbourne Avenue, Whelley, to help cover the cost.

She had to endure a gruelling flight that took in Toronto and Iceland before touching down at Liverpool airport. Halifax Insurance paid the costs of the flight as a "goodwill gesture".

Kathleen is under close supervision in the High Dependency Unit at Wigan Royal Infirmary.Doctors in the US told her husband Ted she may not recover after tests revealed bleeding to the brain.Ted said:

"They have told me to send them details of my earnings - apparently they might be able to do a means test and reduce the amount that we have to pay."But I have a bill in my back pocket for around £150,000 and we have to worry about losing the house."At the moment I'm just concerned with getting Kathleen back to good health."According to blood tests, Mrs Ackers had drunk the equivalent of eight to nine vodkas.

The family's travel insurance had a clause invalidating payment for accidents under the influence of alcohol.

It says: "Your policy does not cover you for any claim directly or indirectly resulting from... the misuse of alcohol or your being under the influence of alcohol."Mr Ackers said: "We have never hidden the fact we'd had a fair bit to drink, but who doesn't while on holiday?

The alcohol clause is buried in the policy. The company should warn people."Halifax Travel Insurance spokesman Carol Wright said: "Insurers are guided by the opinion of the medical carers of the holidaymaker.

In the case of Mrs Ackers, it was the opinion of the medical carers that she was seriously under the influence of alcohol and that this directly contributed to the incident."The Association of British Insurers said the clause was standard with travel insurance.

Spokesman Kelly Ostler said: "If you are drunk and something happens, you are responsible for the state you have put yourself in. Travel insurance is there to protect against the unexpected. We would encourage people to be responsible."

02 October 2006

2 comments:

Pete R. said...

"As the Roman in days of old held himself free from indignity when he could say Civis Romanus sum, so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him against injustice and wrong."

So spoke Lord Palmerston in 1847, ironically in defence of a Portuguese Jew, Don Pacifico, who happened however to have been born in Gibraltar and was a British subject.

The point is that to be British, even in the tenuous sense that Don Pacifico could be described as "British", once meant something.

NorthWestNationalists said...

Foreign patients run up massive debt at hospital
OVERSEAS patients owe hundreds of thousands of pounds in unpaid bills to Sheffield's adult hospital it was claimed today.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has outstanding debts totalling £296,586 from foreign patients not entitled to treatment on the NHS.
The Trust, which runs the Royal Hallamshire, Northern General, Weston Park, Jessop Wing and Charles Clifford Dental hospitals, has been named as the 10th worst hospitals trust in the UK for unpaid bills for NHS treatment for overseas visitors from 2005.
Overall health tourism is costing the NHS £9 million in unpaid bills.
It is not clear why people are not paying for treatment in Sheffield.
But in London, hospitals say large bills have been run up by pregnant women coming to Britain from overseas to give birth - then going home without paying.
The news comes at a time when Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is having to make efficiency savings of £90 million over the next three years to reach Government efficiency targets.
A spokeswoman for the trust said the balance will gradually fall as some visitors who cannot pay immediately for treatment will pay the money back gradually on a monthly basis.
She added: "A significant proportion of the unpaid treatment relates to overseas visitors who have taken ill whilst visiting the country.
"The trust does have in place a policy relating to re-payment plans to assist overseas visitors in paying for their treatment."
18 October 2006

http://www.sheffieldtoday.net/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=58&ArticleID=1827265

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