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General News | Jun 13, 2004

Ghanaian "Aristocrat" Fails To Pay Hospital Bill

Daily Mail/GHP

Paul Boateng, a former UK Health Minister and now Chief Secretary to the Treasury has become personally involved in the sensitive issue of how non-paying 'health tourists' from abroad are "mis-using" the UK National Health System (NHS) A patient, apparently a Ghanian aristocrat (name withheld), received free emergency treatment at a major NHS hospital. He then had further non-emergency treatment worth £70,000, for which he was warned in advance he would have to pay. Soon afterwards that patient returned to Ghana without meeting the costs of his treatment. Because of constituency connections, the Boatengs had visited the man in hospital - which sought their help in trying to recover the costs. They tried hard to assist but were unable to do so. Thanks to the Ghanaian patient's failure to pay, the debt has been written off, which means the cash will now be provided by UK taxpayers whether they like it or not. The name of the patient has been made available to GHP, by a Ghanaian living in London, but it's been withheld till it can be confirmed. <

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