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Naomi M

Tiffany Hedman Medical Emergency Fundraiser

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English National Ballet's Tiffany Hedman needs help. 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/tiffany-hedman-medical-emergency

She is suffering from kidney stone while visiting her family in US and unable to receive medical treatment because of the US healthcare system (lack of insurance), and unable to return to UK because she is too much in pain. Many fellow dancers are joining the fundraising. 

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Yet another disgraceful indictment of the US healthcare system. An American friend told me the other day that many American families are just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy.  Indeed, I read recently that medical costs are the largest cause of bankruptcy in the US.  We are so lucky in the UK.  Next time anyone wants to moan about the NHS, spare a thought for these people. 

 

Thanks for this, Naomi.  I wish Tiffany well.  

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This appeal is going well. Over $6,000 US raised in less than a day against a $10,000 target with donations coming from dancers and audience members all over.

 

I have been in an A&E queue in the USA and have experienced how badly people in dire need are treated. Some with obvious injuries were turned away because they hadn't the means to pay.

It's a disgrace.

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I have experience both US/UK health system. I doubt a NHS system will work in US but it is true that US health system need reform.

A tip for all, make sure you have some travel insurance coverage if you are travelling to US.  Being a foreigner and (non-EEA for UK), we will be alerted that we should buy insurance when applying for VISA. But in her case, she is US citizen but living in UK with NHS coverage. Thus probably no one alerts her to get insurance... 

 

Actually I think that $10,000 is a nice bargain in US market for her condition because the cost is very high there... 

 

Friends of mine living in California also get into trouble like these. Their parent visiting got ill and it was due to pre-existing condition. So the travel insurance would not cover all except the life threatening. ER would only do as much as to save the life then transfer to the hospital. They co-signed the bill to continue treatment and bargained the bill with the hospital afterwards, got a deal with monthly payments.

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 Just to clarify. She did receive treatment and was in the hospital for several days, according to her Facebook. Additionally, I work in a medical office in the US, and have numerous emergency room nurses as patients. Never once have I heard of people being turned away. In fact, they complain about people coming in for non-emergencies and they still must treat them. Additionally, this is a fact: https://www.empr.com/home/features/law-101-emergency-medical-treatment-and-active-labor-act-emtala/2/. I do hope she gets what she needs. 

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From her fundraiser story: ".....  I have a kidney stone which was NOT removed or blasted because of that lack of insurance. A stent was placed to save my life because thats all they would do, but no followup ordered for me.  I was told to head back to the UK, only given limited medication, and this was all over 2 weeks ago.   I can not yet fly... too much pain and the stent not removed.  I need the stone checked to see if its still there, removed if it is, and then the stent removed. The hospital is refusing to finish the work they started without money upfront, I can't get the medications necessary..."

In my book, follow-up care is a key part of treatment and safety. And if the hospital refuses to provide her with that follow-up, they follow rules that can put her life in danger. 

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Goodness, target achieved already!  That's great news.  Let's hope she can now get whatever treatment she needs.

 

I don't know how these things work - are you allowed to carry on giving in case there are unexpected additional expenses, or what?

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I've been asleep all day today ....... recovering as a recent grateful recipient of the excellent NHS care we have here .....so only came upon this half an hour ago .....I went in to try to contribute but it was in dollars!

Ive literally just put a post on my Facebook page how do you contribute in pounds and then seen this here.

I have contributed to these funds before but it's always been in UK so the problem hasn't arisen. 

If the fund target has been achieved that's great news for Tiffany and hope she is home soon.....kidney stones are so painful but normally can be quickly dealt with.

What a nightmare for her.

We must keep the NHS in the UK it really is worth fighting for.

 

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Poor woman - renal colic is excruciating - I hope she gets all the pain relief she needs and gets back to the UK ASAP. 

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I'd route for the pain of a broken ankle even a triple broken one over the pain of a kidney stone any day!!

I can't decide if that sentence makes sense.....I mean the kidney stone pain is far worse! 

Edited by LinMM

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1 hour ago, LinMM said:

.....I went in to try to contribute but it was in dollars!

 

 

 

It doesn't matter that it is in dollars, you contribute in the normal way and the sterling amount you are being charged shows on your credit card bill.

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9 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

 

It doesn't matter that it is in dollars, you contribute in the normal way and the sterling amount you are being charged shows on your credit card bill.

... And, in my case, the fraud team of your bank rings you almost immediately because of unusual activity on your account, as happened to me yesterday!  The fund, of course, was totally legitimate so all was fine. 

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I'm not sure what insurance costs for travellers, but it's very unwise to travel to the USA without some sort of insurance. I hope $10,000 will help, but with the costs of treatment over here, it might not be enough. Let's hope it'll cover her treatment. Leaving her in a condition where she can't get the treatment she needs in the USA but can't travel back home, is really not good enough.

 

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To be honest I don't know how the US can justify this attitude to people who are seriously unwell in the 21st Century.

Also there should be some leeway for visitors ...as presumably as a US citizen living in the US you would have to make some allowances for medical emergencies with Insurance cover etc ( though realise the spiralling costs will make it difficult for many who live there too) but if you are visiting the country it could be quite easy to underfund yourself even if you take out holiday insurance etc

It is all the more disgraceful because think what would happen to an American on holiday in this country in a similar situation....they would get the appropriate treatment.

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2 hours ago, LinMM said:

It is all the more disgraceful because think what would happen to an American on holiday in this country in a similar situation....they would get the appropriate treatment.

 

Actually UK treats short term visitors same. You need to pay before getting treatment unless it is emergency. 

 

(But maybe it is always free for UK citizens even if they are not resident. Compare to US it is calculated by your residency not citizenship. I guess the reason may be US grant citizenship to everyone borns there. )

 

For non-EEA visitors to UK, they are required to get travel insurance when applying for Visa (Since US visitor does not need a tourist visa so they may not be aware about it).

 

"If you needed NHS hospital treatment, you'd be charged at 150% of the standard NHS rate, unless an exemption category applied to either you or the treatment. Health insurance would cover this charge." 

 

Unlike you may bargain with US hospital for a cheaper rate if you pay cash (same treatment may cost much more though insurance), here in UK you are charged 150%. But consider UK price is relatively cheaper than normal US hospital, it is not too bad. And same like US, you may pay weekly/monthly if you don't have so much cash in floating if you are proven to be "trustable" or get some family to co-sign the bill.

 

GP here is very busy in London. So when my parents come and want to have a test, we just go to private. It is okay for just one single visit.

 

There are many different kinds of insurances in US. The one I used to have when I lived there has some foreign country supporting. They may reimburse some medical cost if I travel to a foreign country. But some cheaper plans, maybe not have such coverage but you pay much less per month.

Edited by HelenLoveAppleJuice
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I think it is the emergency situation which is highlighted here.

Tiffany's situation was an emergency .....and they did not immediately give her the proper treatment for the condition because of her insurance situation......or that is how I understood the appeal on Facebook.

In the same emergency in Uk the correct treatment would have been given.......though any appropriate charges would be made and sorted out later. 

That is the main difference. 

Personally I always take out very good travel insurance and luckily have only had to use it once for medical costs for a minor injury. 

But in a more serious situation which required prolonged stay in hospital am not sure whether the Insurance would have covered it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our family always has medical insurance even when we travel to EU countries.  Although the European Health Insurance card covers you for treatment in other EU countries, if there is something serious, you may find yourself stuck in hospital for weeks.  With insurance you may well be able to claim to be brought home with suitable medical care en route e.g. special medical flights.

 

Anywhere else you may visit in the world it is money well spent investing in a good insurance policy.  Beware of cheap ones with many exclusions.  For any trip be aware that lots of "dangerous" activities are not covered and you may need to buy extra cover.  In other words, read the small print!

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I lived in the USA for several years having both my children out there, one with insurance and one without, without being my first child and they can be ruthless, my husband had to leave me in labour to go get cash out of bank before they would give me an epidural .  Now living permanently back in the UK I would never criticise the NHS  , we are very lucky !

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