It has emerged that there are now 25 maternity units across the United Kingdom where the number of foreign mothers attending outnumber the amount of British-born mothers.
In one London hospital in particular, more than 4 out of 5 visiting mothers are born outside of the UK.
According to a report on the excellent Westmonster blog:
4 in 5 babies delivered at one hospital in Britain were born to foreign mothers, official figures show.
Northwick Park hospital in London 4,031 out of the 5,117 newborn babies had a foreign-born mother.
There are now 25 maternity units across Britain where foreign-born mothers outnumber UK mothers.
In 2016, more than 28% of Britain’s 7,000 newborns were born to foreign mothers – that’s the highest on record.
Alp Mehmet, from MigrationWatch UK, said last night: “To reduce these pressures we need to better manage migration.” That’s an understatement – this is madness and cannot go on.
It would be easy to respond to this sort of report with allegations of trying to stir up hatred of minorities, but the fact remains that there are a significant number of hospitals where foreign mothers are in the majority.
Can our NHS cope? This isn’t just a long-term question anymore.
We welcome current proposals to start charging for medical treatment when it is established that patients are not entitled to free healthcare, but the issue with the nature of a maternity unit is that the birth itself has to be carried out before any questions can be asked.
Naturally it would be ridiculous to demand paperwork before admission!
Read more below about why the NHS is under more pressure than ever before.
New NHS rules have come into effect meaning that patients from overseas will be charged up to £15,000 for treatment.
This news will be welcomed by campaigners and politicians who feel strongly that the British National Health Service should remain free at the point of use solely for citizens of the United Kingdom.
It should be stressed that emergency treatment will never be ‘withheld’ as a matter of course, but that’s not to say that overseas patients will not be charged at a later point.
According to a report in The Telegraph:
Patients should be asked for evidence of a “settled home address in the UK”. These could include utility bills, council tax records, bank statements, tenancy agreements, proof of property ownership or insurance policies, the guidance states.
While staff are not told to ask the questions to every patient, separate guidance warns that trusts could fall foul of discrimination law if they target non-white patients.
Senior NHS managers said it was “unrealistic” to expect hospital staff to have time to ask patients dozens of questions in order to find those who should be charged for treatment.
One senior source said they anticipated a “soft launch” of the rules, which were unlikely to be fully enforced immediately given the detailed demands being made.
A tariff setting out costs which should be charged says patients outside the EU should be charged 50 per cent more than the working costs to the NHS.
Examples include rates of £15,802 for spinal surgery, £10,277 for paediatric brain surgery or £4,138 for delivery of a child, and £1,825 for an eye operation.
So-called ‘health tourism’ has long been a concern for our health service that is under more financial pressure than ever before, and so it will now be interesting to see just how hospitals implement the new rules.
According to a number of sources, there are concerns that hospitals could be accused of discrimination if they are perceived to only be requesting proof of residency from people with certain types of surname or ethnic origin.
However, the fact remains that if the NHS is going to clamp down on this, administrators are going to have to be prepared to ‘get their hands dirty’ and run the risk of political incorrectness.