19th Jul, 2018

Foreign patients owe trust thousands in unpaid treatment fees

Laura Kearns 12th Apr, 2017

FOREIGN patients owe South Warwickshire Foundation Trust more than £17,000 in unpaid costs for treatment.

The trust – which runs Warwick, Stratford, Leamington and Shipston hospitals – spent more than £41,000 between April 2016 and this January treating patients from overseas.

But although most of the money has been reclaimed, around £17,000 is still unaccounted for.

SWFT says they have a relatively small number of non-UK residents and that unpaid debts were not an issue.

A spokeswoman told the Observer: “We have a policy for the management of individuals who do not normally live in the UK when they seek treatment from the trust.

“Identifying overseas patients never delays the provision of immediately necessary treatment.

“Overseas visitors are identified and the finance department are informed.”

The hospital sends out reminders for any outstanding debt, but say possible reasons on unclaimed payments can include awaiting insurance payments, repayment plans being put in place and patients being deceased.

They also try to receive money in advance for treatment which is yet to be undertaken.

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