SOLYMONE BLOG

300 MATERNITY TOURISTS CHEAT THEIR WAY INTO UK?


The problem of “maternity tourism” has become so acute that staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, in London UK, refers to the flow of West African women flying in to give birth as the “Lagos Shuttle”.
Hundreds of pregnant foreigners are flying to Britain just days before they give birth to receive free care on the National Health Service (NHS).
A Government report found that immigration officials at one airport stopped more than 300 such mothers over two years. 
Most of the women had to be admitted and allowed to give birth on the NHS, the report found, because their pregnancies were too advanced for them to fly home.
Airlines typically do not carry women more than seven months pregnant. However, the women boarded flights in their home countries with forged doctors’ notes concealing the length of their pregnancies.
The Government says health tourism costs the NHS as much as £80 million a year; enough to pay for about 2,000 nurses.
However, estimates seen by The Sunday Telegraph suggest the true figure may be far higher. Guy’s and St Thomas’ alone may be losing more than pounds £5 million a year.

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