Medical Prisoner

Old Feb 18th 2020, 12:16 am
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Default Medical Prisoner

There is an American in the village who had a stroke about a year ago and has now ended up in hospital for leg amputation. He is very naive and pot less and is being held as a medical prisoner, no release & no operation until payment in full, although he does not seem to realise it, thinking that everything will be OK. I have tried by best but not enough.

If a Brit was in that situation would it be worth contacting the British Embassy to get rescued from hospital and back home ( my experience with the British Embassy is that they will happily abandon you to ensure they are OK, so in the last 40 years I have had nothing to do with them ), if they would I assume the US embassy would do the same. If they do then I might contact the US Embassy to see if they can look after him as I don't think he, or his wife, can look after him.

Any info gratefully accepted.
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Old Feb 18th 2020, 1:11 am
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Default Re: Medical Prisoner

Originally Posted by Stokkevn
There is an American in the village who had a stroke about a year ago and has now ended up in hospital for leg amputation. He is very naive and pot less and is being held as a medical prisoner, no release & no operation until payment in full, although he does not seem to realise it, thinking that everything will be OK. I have tried by best but not enough.

If a Brit was in that situation would it be worth contacting the British Embassy to get rescued from hospital and back home ( my experience with the British Embassy is that they will happily abandon you to ensure they are OK, so in the last 40 years I have had nothing to do with them ), if they would I assume the US embassy would do the same. If they do then I might contact the US Embassy to see if they can look after him as I don't think he, or his wife, can look after him.

Any info gratefully accepted.
This link mentions emergency assistance on a reimbursement basis, for people who are temporarily destitute. Contact details are included https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...ssistance.html

I'm afraid that I think Embassies are right not to financially assist all and sundry who find themselves in a pickle. If people choose to live in a foreign country then they need to have either sufficient health insurance, or enough put away to self fund.

I've lost count of the times I've seen posts from the relatives and friends of older people who've gone off to live in Paradise without making any provision for illness, injury, medical repatriation, nothing. And then it's left up to families to try and sort mum or dad out, often impossible to do due to the costs involved.
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Old Feb 18th 2020, 2:50 am
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Default Re: Medical Prisoner

I am not sure that the US government would have any interest in facilitating a repatriation (though I think they would not), but the problem would be that, even if he was assisted in returning to the US, if he doesn't have medical insurance, then he won't get any medical care other than basic "patch-you-up" treatment so you don't die in the A&E - and specifically no aftercare.
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Old Feb 18th 2020, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Medical Prisoner

British Embassy would be useless in that situation if it were a UK citizen/
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Old Feb 18th 2020, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Medical Prisoner

I assume this guy is in a private hospital... Government hospitals cannot detain patients for non payments.
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Old Feb 21st 2020, 4:33 am
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Default Re: Medical Prisoner

It may be worthwhile checking out if the US embassy has volunteers who visit the patient to find out what assistance he requires, make contact with family back in the home country, and be the link between patient and embassy officialdom.
Brit. embassy in Bangkok offers such help. But they are not paying for repatriation unless they get reimbursed.
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Old Feb 21st 2020, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Medical Prisoner

Originally Posted by Thairetired2016
It may be worthwhile checking out if the US embassy has volunteers who visit the patient to find out what assistance he requires, make contact with family back in the home country, and be the link between patient and embassy officialdom.
Brit. embassy in Bangkok offers such help. But they are not paying for repatriation unless they get reimbursed.
What a lovely helpful post.
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Old Feb 22nd 2020, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Medical Prisoner

Thanks everyone for the info. I have managed to find an American expat who had, a few years ago, helped another American in similar circumstances, so he will do the ringing round, getting help etc.
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Old Feb 24th 2020, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Medical Prisoner

The Honorary Consuls , although volunteer and generally incapable of doing anything financially, can be remarkable in helping out. Unless he's been paying Plan B Medicare Premiums he's unlikely to be afforded much care in the US, though. But it may simply be a case of him having the funds somewhere, and being able to access them. Maybe he doesn't like to talk to the wife about his financial reserves, but might, in private, with someone with a card that says "Honorary US Consul for Bataclan" or whatever.
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