AN EXPAT who paid taxes in the UK for 40 years, was handed a whopping €1,180 bill for a one-night stay at a Bristol hospital.
Sue Woodman, 56, who has lived in Alcala La Real for six years was forced to return to the UK last June to care for her elderly mother, who was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s.
During her three month trip she became ill herself and was admitted to hospital after suffering a panic attack.
After a night of tests she was given the all clear and sent home to care for her mother, who was eventually taken into care.
So it came as a real shock when a few weeks after returning to Spain her sister contacted her to inform her that a bill had arrived from the NHS.
The letter also stated that if she didn’t pay the money by the end of the month, she would be detained by border control if she ever tried to re-enter Britain.
Mrs Woodman, who is a Spanish resident, said: “What upset me the most was that I have spent the majority of my life working in the UK and paying all my taxes.
“I have had only two stays in hospital my entire life which was when I had my children.
“I’d gone back to England, not for a holiday, but to care for my very ill mother. The last thing on my mind was ending up in hospital.
“But I did and now I have had to pay for the consequences.”
She added: “It has not been easy finding the money and I really dread to think how many other people have had to pay out in this way.