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UK Assesses Immigration Rules on Nigerians & Other Foreigners Visiting for Child Delivery

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Following allegations that a Nigerian woman received treatment for the delivery of her babies in a United Kingdom hospital without paying anything, the UK government has said it will no longer tolerate the abuse of its National Health Service by Nigerian women. There is talk that there will be even stricter immigration rules on so-called “Health Tourists”.

As BellaNaija.com reported last year (link), Bimbo Ayelabola created a media sensation after she gave birth to quintuplets in the UK resulting in medical bills of over £200,000, so far, she has not paid the bills.

Here’s how Channels TV reported it:

Ayelabola, 33, reportedly took a fertility drug (Clomid) overdose in order to aid conception after losing her first pregnancy.

As soon as she found out she was pregnant, the woman allegedly relocated to the UK to be able to take the needed rest outside of the hustling and bustling of Lagos.

While in the UK, she underwent a scan which revealed that she was expecting four babies in the first instance before it was discovered during the delivery that there was a fifth baby.

It was learnt that she was put on an emergency NHS programme which as at July last year, had depleted the scheme’s purse to the tune of £200,000 ($320,000).

In another recent case, an unnamed heavily pregnant woman was said to have travelled from Lagos to Manchester because she was concerned about the standard of treatment she would receive in Nigeria.

She was said to have gone straight from the airport to Wythenshawe Hospital where she told staff that there were complications with her pregnancy.

Two midwives, two consultant urologists, a radiology consultant, two consultant obstetricians and two anaesthetists were reported to have been involved in her treatment before her healthy babies were born by emergency Caesarean section last two weeks.

Prior to her discharge from hospital on Monday, staff were said to have informed her that the cost of her treatment was around £10,000 and asked her for billing details.

The woman was reported to have left without paying anything.

This prompted the UK Health Minister, Simon Burns to say “We won’t tolerate abuse of our National Health Service. The NHS has a duty to anyone whose life or long-term health is at immediate risk but it is not there to serve the health needs of the globe.

“Hospitals have a legal duty to recover any charges made to overseas patients. The Government has also recently amended the immigration rules so that anyone with an unpaid debt to the NHS of £1,000 or more can be refused a new visa.”

Photo Credit: www.ucl.ac.uk

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

44 Comments

  1. debbie egwuogu

    August 29, 2012 at 7:11 am

    How did she leave the hospital without paying? She disappear with the five children. This story no sound pure abeg.

    • Ronke

      August 29, 2012 at 8:12 am

      @Debbie
      Here in the UK, one is discharged from the hospital whenever one is fit enough, but must leave one home address where the hospital forwards the payment invoice to, even if one does not have a home address , they don`t hold you, but the client have the obligation to pay for the service that was rendered. This is not like Nigeria where a dying person is required to make a substantial deposit before they even start the required treatment. (wherever their Duty of Care has eloped too.)

    • Laila Ikeji

      August 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

      lol at wherever their Duty of Care has eloped to.
      these women no try sha n again Nigeria too really has to change their policy of no money, no treatment as well.
      http://www.LailaIkeji.com

    • Ife

      August 29, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Debs, if u’ve lived abroad you’ll understand how. Its not like 9ja whereby u go and pay, its like insurance. Well for the US insurance, for the UK its NHS – tax taken from your salary. She shall NEVER be granted a UK visa and her kids wont even get uk passports so i wonder why she bothered.

    • Mirabelle

      August 29, 2012 at 8:49 am

      I do not want to be presumptuous so please correct me if I am wrong. I believe that you don’t live in the UK hence why this story seems fictional to you.

    • Too

      August 29, 2012 at 9:18 am

      My dear abroad you can not be held hostage until you pay. Here the hospital can only count on your word of mouth that you will pay and let you go. You are thinking this way because you live in EVIL country Nigeria

    • chi

      August 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      I work with the NHS here in London,its not like Nigeria where you are expected to pay before treatment,they make sure you are okay first and then it is up to you to pay if you want to.Most times people dont pay,they just leave after treament .Its a good country

  2. Sylvia

    August 29, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Exactly!!!!! So fake. Mschewwwwww

  3. of course

    August 29, 2012 at 7:59 am

    as in eh….i dont even understand the story. how did she leave? abi she jump fence ni? or was it a charity hospital?

    • gf

      August 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      er, you obviously dont know how to works. In civilized countries, they treat you first and save your life before asking for money. They expect everyone to be truthful and law abiding and because they know people cant afford to pay the lump sum @ once, you are allowed to go home and set up a payment plan , pay your co-pay and handle the rest through your insurance company.

    • gf

      August 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      er, you obviously dont know how it works in civilized countries, they treat you first and save your life before asking for money. They expect everyone to be truthful and law abiding and because they know people cant afford to pay the lump sum @ once, you are allowed to go home and set up a payment plan , pay your co-pay and handle the rest through your insurance company.

  4. pynk

    August 29, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Ok so is the UK going to stop admitting pregnant women? The title is misleading. Bcos if they are still going to attend to you when u are in a precarious situation, then it hasnt changed nothing.

    I do feel for them though, pple who have not sowed (paid taxes) wanting to reap where they sow. Maybe those with visa’s will now start taking pregnancy tests before they board flights. hmm

  5. gimmer

    August 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

    nigerias and mago mago…what’s her excuse for this act? poverty? they sha want to ruin other countries the way they ruined nigeria.isorai

  6. Pendo

    August 29, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Ok people have got to stop taking advantage of the system the NHS is one of the best thing about the UK. Didn’t she have medical insurance that covered her while she was abroad? Imagine if hospitals start detaining foreigners for not paying na wah!

  7. Naija V

    August 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

    They should go ahead and dedut the money from Ibori’s account.

  8. Theodora

    August 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Why do nigerian’ do this for Jezzz sake, this silly woman now has ruined other people chances, why do people do this, haba..you dont have money to pay for aboard services why didnt you just stay put,,,and how on earth did the hospital managment allow her go without paying self…..metchewwwwwwwwwww

  9. Lizzie

    August 29, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Thank you Debbie.

  10. D Fairy GodSister

    August 29, 2012 at 9:03 am

    It’s a shame what our brothers and sisters do, making it even harder for the genuine ones to access qualitative healthcare. Bella Naija missed the part about the BImbo lady refusing to leave the UK after she gave birth, saying her children had ties here now, and she would be killed if she went back to Nigeria. There were even talks about her getting a lawyer to sue the Home Office! Why do we do these things?
    http://www.fairygodsister.wordpress.com

  11. Aibee

    August 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I’m totally in support of the UK Government here. Its downright unconscionable for a woman to do what these women did. People’s taxes paid for the treatment these women got free. If you want your child to be regarded as a citizen or a been-to, biko, set aside the money for his birth. Even if complications arise which make it more expensive, at least you’ll know in your conscience that you did your best to contribute. Its this osho-free attitude that is also affecting us here in Naija. Lots of people don’t pay their taxes and then they will now be lamenting that the government did not do anything.
    As for that Bimbo woman, I’m sure her doctor advised her that taking Clomid could result in multiple embroyos, she took it and then went to have 5 babies on someone else’s bill. Haba, your conscience no judge you? Pschew. Wanna be’s ni gbogbo yin.

  12. Changing Faces

    August 29, 2012 at 9:28 am

    BN, they amended the rules a while ago; no be today. From my experience giving birth abroad, the hospitals aren’t vigilant in collecting payment. They are not used to collecting payment because of the Nhs, they always assume everyone is covered. I practically chased them to collect my money! Throughout my hospital stay no one asked me anything even though I had registered as a foreigner. I don’t really blame them cos of their culture of trust. It’s a pity some people jut give us a bad name for their own selfish gain!

  13. bbb

    August 29, 2012 at 10:02 am

    wow ! why are the women giving other Nigerian women going there to put to bed a bad name…really not nice…

  14. buchi

    August 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

    How is this story fake abeg?? some commenters are so ignorant *smh. What these women r doing is simply criminal, apart from making them pay they should be punished! they want to carry their lawlessness to other countries. the thing pain me… Lol

  15. Nnenne

    August 29, 2012 at 10:35 am

    is it by force to give birth abroad/ at the end of the day, dose kids cannot even be considered UK citizens. mscheeeeew. penny wise, pound foolish.

    • Thelma

      August 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      Apparently you really don’t know much about UK citizenship rules (correct me if I’m wrong) But if you were born here, even if you return to Naija the following day or where ever your home country is, you can still claim British citizenship anytime. All that is required is to have your birth certificate tied to your apron strings! live in the UK for atleast 3years minimum and maintain a good and civil behaviour while you’re here, and…at the end of 3yrs, you’l be smiling out the immigration office with your Red passport!

      Thats it!

    • Miss Mo

      August 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Thelma, you are so wrong. You do not automatically qualify for UK citizenship just because you were born in the UK. That was stopped in 1983. A child born in the UK can only qualify for UK citizenship if the parents have permanent residency and reside in the UK. A child whose parents for example are on work permit can only get UK citizenship after 7 years of continious legal residence in the UK. And no, you cannot get a passport after living the the UK legally for 3 years as an adult. You qualify for permanent residency 10 years after living in the UK legally, 14 years if illegal and 5 years if you are on a work permit. Getting the passport takes another 1 or 5 years depending on whether you got your permanent residency legally or legally.

    • Miss Mo

      August 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      By the way, hope you are not wasting your time waiting for 3 years of legal residency in order to gain citizenship. You will surely be crying out of the Home office with no red passport

    • Tracey

      August 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      I never said you can authomatically qualify……*someone is not reading properly*

    • Tracey

      August 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Sorry *she not I….typo error

    • Thelma

      August 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      @ Miss mo: Sorry! been born, bred and buttered here for 30 solid years! and, working & living very very well too. Bagged and baggaged that Red passport 3 decades ago! Too bad honey…..You’re speaking to the wrongest person 😉

      You can take the snarky comment else where

    • Ade

      July 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Any Child born here will be British by fire by force when he or she is over 18, that is the target and no one can stop that, not even MPs, that was a request from Her Majesty, take that away and Commonwealth is dead. You guys think its only nija do this… Indian, parkistan and Middle east are all doing it. And some of you should ask your mother how she came to UK. Noone here is from Sconthorp lol. You guys don’t understand natin about weting dey happen 4 nija!

    • Thelma

      August 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      Apparently you really don’t know much about UK citizenship rules (correct me if I’m wrong) But if you were born here, even if you return to Naija the following day or where ever your home country is, you can still claim British citizenship anytime. All that is required is to have your birth certificate tied to your apron strings! live in the UK for atleast 3years minimum and maintain a good and civil behaviour while you’re here, and…at the end of 3yrs, you’l be smiling out the immigration office with your Red passport! That is if one of your parent is not a British National.

      However, if one is or both are, then you can automatically become a citizen at birth

    • Ri

      January 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Thelma you are very wrong.all the talk abt being born n buttered bla bla. Miss mo is right. You are so behind.

  16. Mirabelle

    August 29, 2012 at 11:22 am

    It is great to see many UK resident Nigerians/ British-Nigerians take a stand against this practice of people who take advantage of the NHS. No matter how you view it, the behaviour of such people is purely fraudulent.
    The NHS has limited resources and treatment is not always available on tap for those that are entitled to it. People with life threatening illnesses are sometimes not always able to get life saving surgery immediately (there is a waiting list). People having to re-mortgage or borrow against their house to get their very expensive medication/ treatment which may not be funded despite paying many years of National Insurance and then these ladies feel they are entitled.
    Those who do not see that taking advantage of the NHS as “no big deal” are most likely not to live in the UK and never left Nigeria, and ignorant so they think it is okay to do this “419”. Its time they realise they are further denigrating the image of Nigeria and Nigerians and these children though British-born children will never attain British citizenship.

  17. Rose

    August 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Have you ever tried arguing with a Nigerian woman? All foreigners should produce documents about pregnancy before they are issued visas, and provide proof that they can take care of any doctors or hospital bills whilst abroad. No proof, no entry.

  18. Oma

    August 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

    How sad.
    Why would you go give birth to your kids abroad when you can’t afford the care?
    Many Nigerian women do this for social status purposes. “i had my child in the UK”
    Is it not embarrassing when your name is all over the news?
    Cut your coat according to your material…
    http://lifethroughomaseyes.blogspot.com

  19. gf

    August 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I am with this. Nigerian women not only abuse the healthcare system in the UK but in the USA as well. It is apalling to see women who have not in anyway contributed to this society by paying taxes or in other ways, take advantage of the system. I had a friend in Naija call me and ask if her cousin could come stay with me while she gave birth her in the USA.I promptly told her to tell her cousin to rent a house for the duration of her pregnancy.She was like the cousin cannot afford it and i am thinking to myself, if you cannot afford to rent a small apartment, how do you want to pay the over $20,o00 for delivery. The average American cannot even afford it, but that is why people have insurance.Why come here to deliver your kids when you can afford it, then later you abscond.I hope the USA cracks down on this foolishness!!

    • http://labelwhorre.wix.com/piecesly

      August 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      PREACH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OOO. let the darn church say Amen…i told a friend of mine the same thing…she instead went to Georgia and delivered her child..am sure the gbese will be on the state of Georgia. all in the name of class and keeping up the invisible joneses of johnson whatever it is. mstcheeeeeew oniranu…and we are already having healthcare issues o.

  20. Priscy

    August 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Choi why will dese NIgerians behave like dis abroad na……if dey had told dem to pay b4 service dem go complain, now service b4 pay and dem don run. its a shame

  21. NNENNE

    August 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Not fair at all but why make Nigerians the sole offenders?
    A lot of foreigners do it and not just Nigerians.

    • YummyMummy

      August 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      sorry dear,Not a lot of foreigners,a lot of Nigerian do that…wherever we are or get to..we spoil the place.A lot of Nigerians are educated but not enlightened,which is bad..the attitude to outshine the other hey?

  22. giggy

    August 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    embarrassing!

  23. Brandigest

    August 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Another sad story about Nigeria. elope? How possible? All these embarrasing stories and measures put up just for Nigeria / Nigerians are enough motivation to get our house together and organized. I doubt if the bunch of the people on agbadas, fishermen hats and funny aboki(ish) assent can take a cue and get serious with the real job of governance and administration.
    http://www.brandigest.wordpress.com

  24. Essence of Life

    August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Us Brits have had it with u Nigerians and your dodgy ways. If only you(we) would channel your(our) creativity to positive thinking, your(our) economy would be a super power by now. Yet, u(we) choose to cheat and deceive. *sigh, lights green passport on fire and fans with red* 😀

    • Nice Anon

      August 30, 2012 at 2:53 am

      LOL! This made me laugh.That green passport gets no love outside of Nigeria though.

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