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Returning to the UK to Give Birth

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by IAMBOG, Nov 26, 2011.


    IAMBOG New commenter

    We have another one on the way and are trying to figure out what to do. We have healthcare in the country we work, but not for maternity (although the costs for delivery are mininal). What is the situation if my wife goes to the UK? I am paying National Insurance, but as I understand it this doesn't cover medical.
    My wife, also, is not a UK citizen, although she is (I hate to say it, but it does makes a difference, whether you like it or not) white, lived in the UK for nine years and has a National Insurance number. She comes from a non-EU country. Child is due in mid-June, so she will be going to the UK to stay with my parents. I'll join her as soon as the school year is out.
    My understanding is, we are not entitled to healthcare in the UK unless we declare we have returned for good. I also believe that, as she is the wife of a EU citizen (me), then she is entitled to the same services as me, regardless of her citizenship.
    My questions are;
    Will we have to pay?
    If we do, does anybody know the costs for delivery (we're happy to pay, but just want to know the costs up front)?
    Will our new born be covered by the the NHS immediately after birth, given that it is entitled to UK citizenship (our other child has UK citizenship).
    We'll be back in the UK for Christmas and wondering if we should just go and see my GP and ask all these questions or whether we should just keep quiet.
    What to do ?!!!! Your thoughts?
  2. purpleapple

    purpleapple New commenter

    Good luck with everything. I'm english and have a foreign husband. In our experience of the NHS, they are so lax with things that so long as you say the right thing you should be okay. In the UK proof of address is everything. If your wife is staying with your parents she should get some mail sent there, e.g., bank statement. Then she should just go and register herself at the local GP as a permanent resident (maybe she could explain that she has just moved back). And take it from there. This way your wife should have an NHS number.
    My husband being foreign, despite working and paying tax and NI for 3 years, never got a NI number but had treatment on the NHS with no difficulties (except for one nurse who clearly being a Daily Mail reader said that as he was foreign he wasn't entitled to treatment, so he ignored her and went to someone else who happily treated him). Good luck :)
    By all means ask at a GP's office or ring one of those NHS numbers. If they you something difficult, simply go to another GP instead. I live in a country now with very strict controls about who can use the national services and it amazes me how easy it is to slip in and use the UK system. But if you have worked and paid tax for some years in the UK, then surely you and your family should be able to use those services to which you have contributed.
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Why? The tax was paid for the purposes of any need that arose while that tax was being paid or the payee was resident in the UK. It certainly is not a retainer for future services that may be required.
    As for whether or not you can get away with it, good luck to you. I don't pay UK taxes, so it is not a great concern of mine.
    I rather doubt that any hospital in the UK would turn away a pregnant woman about to give birth, no matter what her nationality.

  4. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Like the thousands Mrs M and I paid into the Road Fund for all those years of vehicle licences? I mean, the Government would never have spent any of our dosh on anything other than maintaining the highways, would they? What an excellent topic this would be for a Politics or ToK essayI
    To the OP: Those of us posting here don't know the answer to your queries because we haven't the necessary experience. Don't rely on speculation. Look up the appropriate UK Government websites and find out exactly what you are entitled to.
  5. I'm pretty sure a few posters have had kids, and I'm sure some of them returned to the UK to do so. I would have thought this is an ideal place to post such a question. Perhaps I should try www.illegalimmigrants.com .
    We are, of course, gathering info from from other sources too, but there's nothing quite like first hand experience.
    We are fine to pay, if we need to, We just want to know how much it will cost.
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I am sure they were appropriately accounted for, down to the very last penny. If there was any discrepancy, I am also sure that the chap or chapesse in charge of your tax affairs would have dipped into his or her own pocket to make any such discrepancy correct.
    I cannot even conceive of the idea that a government department would do anything other than what it promised or implied...

  7. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

  8. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Sorry, meant to add that this might be interesting reading for you.
  9. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    That's a relief. For a moment I was beginning to doubt the integrity of politicians.
  10. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    To answer your question, legally speaking your wife would have to be a resident of the UK for a number of months/years (I can't remember how much but may be as little as 3 months) to become eligible once more for free NHS care. Depending on where she gives birth, they may or may not ask for proof. Because she is white etc. they are less likely to ask so it is easier to do so undetected for her. No NSH trust will refuse care to a pg woman. All I can tell you is to seek antenatal care and bring the records with her. The GP will refer her to the midwifery services which have a clinic at the surgery usually one day a week. She'll have a booking appointment and will get raised eyebrows if she lies and says that she has had no antenatal care and immediately be considered a high risk mother. If she produces her foreign antenatal records, questions may be asked about eligibility to free NHS care.

    the worst that can happen is she is asked to pay for care. I would not be surprised if the sum of £2,500 is requested. From where you are, I would contact a local independent midwife and see what they would charge for a home birth. IMO this is the best of all worlds with the current crisis of in Midwifery in the UK or in any country in the world really. (see the Independent article linked above) Her costs may be similar to what the NHS would charge and you and your wife would be extremely satisfied parents. An indy midwife would also know more about the ins and outs of the NHS and immigration or know who to ask and give you a quick and reliable answer.
  11. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    PS it may be 3 months to re-establish residency for a UK citizen and possibly 3 yrs for a non-EU citizen to establish UK eligibility to free NHS care in high cost/services treatment. this is based on my experience with education while married to a resident UK citizen.

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