A Nigerian woman identified as 37-year-old Bimbo Ayelabola has been let off by a National Health Service (NHS) Hospital after delivering quintuplets in Britain.
The UK’s Telegraph reports that Ayelabola underwent a complex caesarean section in 2011, but failed to pay any of the cost of the operation and neo-natal care for her five babies. The bill was £145,000.
According to the publication, Homerton University Hospital in East London will not chase Ayelabola for the outstanding bill.
The medical institution claims that it sent one request for payment, more than six months after she left the hospital, and did not take any further action after when it was returned unpaid.
The mom of five, who is a make-up artist, has since returned to Lagos and claims she never received her bill.
“I have never received my bill. If I had it, I would pay it,” she says.
The news agency states that Ayelabola’s story follows claims by NHS whistleblowers that managers are instructing them to turn a blind eye to health tourists, because it is too much trouble to chase them for money.
Ayelabola is said to have obtained a visitor’s visa after discovering she was pregnant in 2010, and stayed with her younger sister in the UK early in her pregnancy.
She remained in the hospital for almost 2 weeks after the birth of two boys, and three identical girls, in April 2011. And although her visa reportedly expired, she continued living in her sister’s apartment with the children and did not return home until February 2013.
Ayelabola recently spoke to The Mail, saying;
“What is it that’s my fault? I don’t understand.
They blamed me that I came to the UK and I just came to use the system, which I did not do.
If it (health tourism) is a problem in the UK, you should talk to the NHS. I have never received my bill. If I had it, I would pay it.
Telegraphy UK reports that Ayelabola is separated from her wealthy husband, Ohi Nasir Ilavbare, but he is involved in the lives of his children. She is also believed to have been banned from returning to Britain for five years.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “It is completely unacceptable that people living outside the UK think they can abuse our NHS. We expect and are supporting the NHS to make every effort to reclaim money owed to it.”