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Migrant women face £6,000 birth bill under ‘health tourism’ laws

Pregnant women living in the UK without documents are having to make difficult decisions about accessing maternity services, potentially risking their own lives and those of their unborn children, because of crippling fees imposed by the NHS, say charities.

Campaigners say vulnerable women already struggling to support themselves are being charged up to £6,000 for a normal birth, with emergency procedures such as caesareans adding around £3,000, because of the 150% tariff introduced to prevent “health tourism” from outside the EU.

Family health doctor Clare Shortall, who runs a weekly clinic for women and young children excluded from healthcare across London, said the charges are putting women in impossible situations.

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