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U.K. stops visas for health tourists after a Nigerian incurs £145,000 bill


Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Nigerians seeking overseas treatment for medical conditions and those who go to have their babies so that they could become citizens of that country, may not be allowed into the United Kingdom (U.K.) after a Nigerian woman, Bimbo Ayebola, left the British National Health Service (NHS) a bill of £145,000.

According to a report published yesterday in DailyMailUK, thousands of migrants could be barred from Britain under a crackdown on health tourism.

Ayebola, who cost the British taxpayers £145,000 when she had quintuplets on the NHS said she was never billed for the treatment.

Ayelabola, 38, had to have a Caesarean Section at Homerton University Hospital, East London, after travelling to the U.K. while pregnant in 2011 but now lives in her Lagos home.

Under the new rules, if she had a husband in the U.K. she would not qualify for a visa until she had repaid the debt. It comes after repeated promises by the government to crack down on health tourism.

Any non-European Union (E.U.) citizen applying for a family visa to join a relative in the U.K. could be blocked at the border if they owe the NHS more than £500 for medical treatment.

If they are already in Britain, they may not be allowed to extend a permit or apply for permission to remain until their debt is paid in full.

The measures being unveiled by the British Home Office yesterday are an extension of rules covering visitors on other visas.

They mean the spouse or partner of a person living in the U.K. would not be allowed back in if they have previously fled without paying for NHS treatment.

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