Ex-pat Bill returns to Philippines without NHS op on bad leg
Last updated at 11:18, Thursday, 16 August 2012
BILL Maudling flies back to the Philippines next week feeling harshly treated – and out of pocket – after being refused an operation on the NHS.
The former Smith Bros printer returned to his native Whitehaven after an absence of 15 years expecting to have a free National Health Service ‘op’ which he said was necessary to save one of his legs.
But a few days ago he was told by letter an operation was not considered an emergency.
A North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust deputy director, Paul Wiggins, says in the letter: “I understand that you are returning to live abroad without having the operation which Mr Sowinski (West Cumberland Hospital consultant) has now confirmed is not of an emergency nature and was sorry to hear that you were apparently misled about the application of the regulations as to your circumstances.
“As agreed with your brother (John Maudling) I have discussed the application of charges for appointments and tests undertaken to date with our deputy director of finance and I am pleased to confirm that no invoice will be raised or payment required.”
Bill Maudling told The Whitehaven News on Tuesday that the ‘waived’ West Cumberland Hospital bill for consultations and tests could have soared to £5,000-£10,000 and an operation for blocked arteries costing maybe as much as £20,000.
And thousands of pounds is what Bill estimates it’s cost him to come back taking in flights, accommodation and transport because he can’t walk far.
Before leaving the Philippines for England he believed he could have the operation free of any charge having paid his National Insurance during a 40-year working career in the Whitehaven area.
“I don’t know what they call an emergency, it’s going to get worse and worse over time – the way things are, one little cut could lead to gangrene and then I would risk losing my leg. I have been in agony with it.”
Now the pensioner hopes to have an operation back in the Philippines but still at a sizeable cost.
“I reckon it will be about £7,000. My senior citizens card and some health insurance will knock a third off the bill but I will just have to save up.
“I have worked all my live, never been on the dole, love Whitehaven and proud to be English so I am really disgusted over what’s happened.
“I was actually put on the waiting list to have the operation but then I got the bombshell.”
Brother John, of West Row, Kells, said: “I phoned Mr Wiggins and asked why are you charging Bill £10,000 for the treatment he’s supposed to have had because he hasn’t had any treatment. All’s he’s had were the tests you need prior to an operation. Now you’ve taken the operation away the tests have been worthless to him.”
John said he feels bad because he checked before Bill came over and was told his brother could have the operation free.
He declared: “It has shaken my faith in the National Health Service, I think it’s disgusting.”
Bill added: “I’ve got my plane ticket for Monday, but I would like to thank all the wonderful people who have supported me.”
A talented rugby league player for Whitehaven & District in his youth, Bill at least had the pleasure of seeing his favourite Whitehaven team at The Recreation Ground on Sunday where he met up with old friends such as Phil Kitchin and John McFarlane.
First published at 11:07, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
James, it says you can be treated for free if you've been *working* away for less than 5 years. Poor Mr Maudling *retired* abroad a lot more than 5 years ago. It's a pity he doesn't have appropriate medical insurance, even if he might have had to pay for it, nor sought advice from the NHS before coming back. Perhaps this case should be publicised more widely so that other expats are aware of what they're getting themselves into.
I would ask bill to look at this NHS info sheet on page 2 it clearly says you should get treatment if you have worked in the UK for ten years at some point,so read it and get knocking on some doors.
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