NHS consider Debt Collectors for foreign debts.


In Scotland, a staggering £180,000 circa is owed to NHS Tayside by foreign patients who have received treatment under their care with some patients as far afield including people from as far afield as Pakistan & Canada.

Local Scottish newspaper The Evening Telegraph revealed that £182,621.35 remains outstanding to NHS Tayside for treatment given to patients from several different countries.

Of the foreign debts in the UK, this figure is largely due to patients from Turkmenistan who are owe nearly £100,000 for treatment they received at the hospital.

The figures relate to the total amount of money currently owed by patients from overseas who received care or treatment from the health board, but have failed to pay the amount owed for it.

Their “outstanding invoices” are still being pursued by the Tayside health board. Most of the costs — which have been revealed under a Freedom of Information request — have been accrued over the last three years.

However, some of them date as far back as 2008.

Those in the red hail from nine separate countries.

Turkmenistan, which borders Afghanistan, has amassed the highest patient debt. The Central Asian nation accounted for a massive £96,657 of the total amount owed.

This has all been accrued within the past two years.

Patients from India account for £51,422, while the third-highest figure belongs to Trinidad & Tobago with £16,254 in patient bills outstanding.

The remaining six countries are Nigeria (£6,537), the USA (£4,500.35), Saudi Arabia (£2,995), Canada (£2,142), Pakistan (£1,579) and Germany (£535).

An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government sets out the criteria to be applied by all boards with regards to charging for treatment of overseas visitors.

“If the person has not paid their bill, they are contacted by letter, reminding them of the outstanding amount due.

“If payment is still not made, NHS Tayside will contact the Central Legal Office, which may instruct an international debt collection agency to retrieve payment.

“In certain circumstances, the UK Border Agency is informed and they have the power to apprehend overseas visitors who have outstanding public debts and prevent them from re-entering the UK.”


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