Nigerian woman denied free breast cancer treatment in UK

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A Nigerian woman suffering from advanced breast cancer has been told to pay for her National Health Service (NHS) care after travelling to the United Kingdom for free treatment.

The severely-ill mum, from Nigeria, who was granted anonymity during the High Court hearing, came to England to receive treatment.

She received care at both Basildon and Southend hospitals and was sent invoices, because she was not “ordinarily a resident in Great Britain”.

The patient argued she was entitled to free NHS treatment because she had made a bid for asylum, which has so far been unsuccessful.

Following the hearing, before Justice Kerr, it was concluded “the claim crosses the threshold of being arguable”, but was still dismissed by the judge who deemed she was not entitled to NHS care.

The claimant was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 while living in Ghana, and came to England for treatment in May 2015, with a medical visa.

She returned to England in September 2016 for further treatment, again with entry clearance on medical grounds.

In February 2017, she applied to remain in the UK on human rights grounds, fearing conditions outside the UK “may lead to death”.

In August 2017, her solicitors wrote to the Home Office claiming a lack of adequate medical facilities in Ghana.

But the application was refused because it was “not considered that this is treatment that is required to be undertaken in the UK and treatment can reasonably be continued in Nigeria”. She will appeal on June 25.

Last October, she was being treated at Basildon Hospital, and was informed she would be charged. She was given an “information pack” and a letter dated October 18, 2018, stating that “until your status has been confirmed you remain liable for the total cost of treatment.”

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A Department of Health spokesman said: “Every hard-working taxpayer plays a part in supporting the NHS and we expect overseas visitors to make a contribution to the health service, unless they are exempt from charges, so everyone can access medical treatment when they need it.”


Culled from: https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/17677057.cancer-stricken-mum-told-to-pay-for-her-nhs-care/?ref=rss

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