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Private health-care scam

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Milton Keynes...
posts: 7
reviews: 5
Private health-care scam

My 19 year old son save up hard all year to afford a holiday in Kavos in Greece. On the first night out he went outside from the club he'd been in with friends as he suffers from nosebleeds. He'd had a few drinks but wasn't drunk. He was approached by an ambulance crew who bamboozled him into getting into their ambulance. They then took him under protest to local hospital for treatment. He woke up the next day in hospital and when he produced his EHIC medical card he was told it was a private hospital and to expect a bill of around 1000 euros.

Her managed to get out after giving his name and hotel details, they also copied his bank debit card (which I've now cancelled.)

They now keep hassling him at his hotel, when a lady from the clinic came calling she had a copy of his passport. How the hell she got that I don't know as it should have been in the hotel safe. He's now got it with him.

We have travel insurance but its doubtful they'll pay as its not emergency treatment. He's now been told that unless he pays a £200 excess to the hospital he will get stopped from flying at the airport when he leaves on Saturday 8/9/12. They've been asking for his flight details but he hasn't given them.

I've told him DO NOT pay the excess, my question is this - CAN THEY STOP HIM FLYING AT DEPARTURES?

Corfu
posts: 24
reviews: 6
1. Re: Private health-care scam

What a disgrace... I don't think they can, did he sign anything?

Milton Keynes...
posts: 7
reviews: 5
2. Re: Private health-care scam

As far as I'm aware he hasn't signed any agreements.

Kent
posts: 114
reviews: 9
3. Re: Private health-care scam

Holiday insurance scam?? Sounds possibly more like a youngster who was witnessed bleeding alone in the street and someone perhaps called an ambulance (perhaps even someone in the club he was in) and he was taken for treatment and a bed for the night (where he clearly stayed). I do sympathise with your concerns but the reality is this might not be quite as clear cut as you think it is/have been told (that said, an overnight stay will not cost 1000 euros). As far as the hospital are concerned, they received a patient who they looked after. To answer your question, yes the hospital could well contact the airport police and ask them to speak to your son, I have seen it in the past when young people wreck apartments and then leg it to the airport. I would suggest that perhaps your son (or even possibly you) speaks to a representative from the British Consulate in Corfu Town to get some advice 0030 26610 30055 / 23457 (this is the number on their website, it needs amending obviously if calling inside Corfu). They won't take sides, or negotiate, but they will no doubt have come across all sorts of scenarios over the years and may well be able to offer some suggestions/advice which might put your mind (and that of your son) at rest. It's worth considering.

Milton Keynes...
posts: 7
reviews: 5
4. Re: Private health-care scam

auntieja, I accept a lot of what you say but there are many things that don't seem right. I've already spoken to the consulate by the way. I accept that it may be quite correct to intercept persons leaving the country that have committed criminal offences but this is a civil debt and not a crime. At no stage was he asked if he had private medical insurance at the initial contact stage. If he had I've no doubt he'd have walked away. He was only told it was private healthcare the next day which seems somewhat deceitful. The things that concern me are how on earth did they get hold of a copy of his passport which was in the hotel safe and also the clinic have told him they would make it look an emergency on the paperwork to deceive the insurers into paying out. When he told them about the £200 excess on the policy they told him that he should pay the clinic the excess not the insurers. Sorry but it just seems all wrong to me.

Athens, Greece
posts: 406
reviews: 53
5. Re: Private health-care scam

Until recently, state hospitals in Greece were treating tourists without even asking for the EU International Insurance Card. I know it because many foreign friends and relatives of mine often needed medical care in Greece and this was given to them for free. The hospitals were not even asking for the insurance card to get their money back (maybe one more reason why we are in such an economic condition right now :) )...

So it can't have been that someone just called for an ambulance in the emergency number because he would have been taken to a public hospital, which would have never done all this that the OP describes.

It sounds very weird on the other hand, that a private hospital has an ambulance outside of a club waiting for "victims".

Furthermore, if he hasn't signed anything I don't think they can prove that he owes them any money.

He should definitely address the local tourist police or normal police or the British Consulate as the above poster suggests.

Good luck!

Sale, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Crete
posts: 7,782
reviews: 61
6. Re: Private health-care scam

I remember seeing a programme on UK TV within the last 6 months, where the clinics were effectively touting for business in exactly the way that Ian L describes. Unfortunately I can't recall the name of the programme, but I will try and find it.

Milton Keynes...
posts: 7
reviews: 5
7. Re: Private health-care scam

Good news, he's back home safe and sound, I'll post an update when he wakes up.

Cork Ireland
posts: 798
reviews: 258
8. Re: Private health-care scam

Ian L - thats great news. You must be so relieved. I was thinking of you both. Let us know how he got on.

Bolton, United...
Destination Expert
for Corfu, Agios Gordios
posts: 2,375
reviews: 12
9. Re: Private health-care scam

" I'll post an update when he wakes up. "

After the ordeal he's had I take it that will be Tuesday then!! LOL. Glad he made it home.

Milton Keynes...
posts: 7
reviews: 5
10. Re: Private health-care scam

Yes it probably will after his mum has hugged him to death!

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