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UK taxpayers paying hundreds of thousands of pounds a year for Polish women to return to home country and give birth

Taxpayers in Britain are paying hundreds of thousands of pounds a year for Polish pregnant women to return to their home country and give birth, new figures reveal.

Under EU law anyone living and working in Britain is entitled to free treatment in any other member state.

Around 500 Poles returned to the Eastern European nation to have their babies in 2012, with the NHS footing the bill.

Each birth costs the NHS £1,631, meaning the births of babies to Polish mothers cost Britain around £850,000 last year.

The regulations were originally set up to ensure emergency healthcare was available between member states across the EU and the same applies to British women living in another European state.

Latest figures reveal Britain paid for treatment in European Economic Area countries or Switzerland in 1,332 instances last year. Some 90 per cent of cases, around 995 instances, were related to maternity care.

Treatment at Polish hospitals accounted for almost 50 per cent of the total number of instances with 519 cases. There were 174 cases in France and 90 in Germany.

Some 74 cases were in Slovakia, 49 in the Czech Republic, 21 in Hungary, 18 in Romania, 12 in Lithuania, four in Bulgaria and one in Latvia.

The number of cases is more than double the figure for 2010 when only 442 of the 1,498 cases were linked to maternity care.

Tory MP Chris Skidmore told the Daily Mail: "When this scheme was set up it was meant to cover for emergency treatment.

"This particular EU area should be renegotiated when the Prime Minister sets out a repatriation of powers.’

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Under EU rules, anyone working and paying tax where they are living, including Britons living abroad, can request treatment in another EU country.

"This is particularly common in maternity cases where some people prefer to be around family and friends."

Fonte: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9892077/UK-taxpayers-paying-hundreds-of-thousands-of-pounds-a-year-for-Polish-women-to-return-to-home-country-and-give-birth.html - 25.02.13


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