A Nigerian woman, known only as Pricillia, is stranded in London over unpaid pills in a hospital. She was on her way back to Nigeria from the US when she went into labour.
She intended to give birth in Chicago where she has family after her doctor said Nigerian hospitals do not have the “facilities to cater for the children.”
But she was turned away from the US after failing to show she could pay for the birth and went into labour in London in November on her return to Nigeria. She owes the NHS more than £500,000 after giving birth to quadruplets shortly after landing in the UK at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in west London.
Priscilla is currently staying at a hostel run by a charity and is unable to afford the bill. Her husband is in Nigeria, and cannot come to Britain to help take care of her as he does not have enough money for a visa or the flight.
When first warned of the high treatment costs by overseas visitor manager Terry Facey, Pricillia said: “I didn’t plan to come here.
“It’s only money. Money can’t buy life. The last bill I had was £331,000 but – even if I worked every day – I would never earn that much money. My kids are priceless.”
Mr Facey, who has worked at the trust for 12 years trying to collect bills for overseas patients, said: ‘Those invoices are going to be huge ... 20 grand a week for each baby [in intensive care].
“We will gently push forward and do what we have to do, we’re governed by the rules and regulations. They seem a bit fruitless at times.”