Doncaster man and sick wife trapped in Dubai over £11,000 medical bill

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A Doncaster man and his wife are desperately trying to escape Dubai - after being floored with an £11,000 medical bill while on a brief stay in the state.

Mick White and his wife Kat White, who comes from Glasgow, are stranded in the Emirate until they pay off the enormous bill which they were presented with after Kat suffered a seizure while in the shower.

The couple say they were caugght out by travel insurance small print – and a crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help get the couple home.

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The pair told The Mirror that they were on their way home after working in India for 12 months and decided to spend a few days in Dubai, visiting friends and looking for new job opportunities.

Mick and Kat White are trapped in Dubai over an £11,000 medical bill. (Photo: GoFundMe).Mick and Kat White are trapped in Dubai over an £11,000 medical bill. (Photo: GoFundMe).
Mick and Kat White are trapped in Dubai over an £11,000 medical bill. (Photo: GoFundMe).

But within days of being inside the country, Mick watched in terror as his wife experienced a seizure, involving full body spasms on April 25 this year.

After a handful of hospital visits, the couple - who were already low on cash after their work contract abroad - have been left penniless, adding that the UK embassy has failed to help, telling them "we're not a charity".

The pair say they are trapped because one of the hospitals, which has charged them thousands for tests they "may not have even needed", is holding Mick's passport until he pays £6,000 as the first slice of an "extortionate" "payment plan".

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Mick told the newspaper: "I don't know what to do, I feel like a prisoner."

Talking of the ordeal, he said: "So we got a few days into it, she just didn't feel well. And then she had like a fully body spasm, her body froze.

"She was in the shower, so I moved her to the bed. I couldn't even put her in the recovery position, she couldn't bend her legs. And her hands all curled up with the spasm and her mouth changed.

"And I thought, is she having a stroke?"

They left the hotel they were staying in and rushed her to hospital, where Mick believed his insurance would cover the cost of the treatment.

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He told The Mirror that within the space of "eight or nine hours", Kat had been taken from room to room and given "treatment after treatment", which eventually left them with a bill of £1,800.

But the doctors weren't finished with the best part of £2,000, and advised Kat to spend another night in hospital for more tests and a drip, which would cost a whopping £3,000.

Unable to cover the costs, Mick explained their situation and Kat was sent home with a batch of tablets and assurance she should feel better in four or five days - but it didn't take long for the illness to rear its head.

She was then readmitted to hospital after another episode - and the pair were told she'd need an MRI scan, which left doctors stumped because they couldn't see anything that could cause the seizures.

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Mick said he heard one of the medics say their insurance covered "everything up until here", but that any future treatments would have to be from the couple, who didn't have a penny to their name.

He added that the travel insurance, provided by Barclays bank, refused further charges because the specific trip did not start and end in the UK.

The claim was not rejected during a previous trip to Saudi Arabia, or raised when they first contacted them following Kat's episode, allowing them to claim several treatments, which suggested it was valid, Mick explained.

By the end of their tour of Dubai's hospital system, the couple were left with an £11,000 bill. Though many officials had told them to get back to the UK quickly, the couple are stuck because Kat needs a fit to fly note and help getting on the plane.

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Mick said the embassy has failed to find them a solution despite the seriousness of Kat's sudden illness

When asked how the embassy had helped the situation, Mick said they told him "we're not a charity".

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office's website, it says they refuse to pay for costs like medical bills for Brit nationals abroad, adding that they provide advice instead.

The FCDO told The Mirror in a statement: "We are providing consular assistance to a British couple in Dubai.”

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David Warburton MP for Somerset and Frome, where the Whites last lived in the UK, told The Mirror his office has been helping with the couple's "desperate situation".

He said: "My team and I are in regular contact with Mr White, the FCDO and the British Embassy in Dubai to seek an urgent resolution to the desperate situation which the Whites are facing.

"We continue to urge the Embassy to give this matter their immediate and critical attention and I’m appealing to the FCDO to advise if there’s anything further that can be done to support and assist the White family."

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