Exclusive: By Giles Brown
AN angry British mother is considering legal action after her teenage son was denied urgent medical attention in Spain.
In a freak accident 15-year-old Josh Fryer Bloom, who was on holiday with his mother Samantha, impaled himself on a spiked fence and received a puncture wound to the testicle.
With a towel wrapped around his groin to stem the bleeding, they rushed to the Benalmadena A&E to seek treatment.
It was then that their nightmare began.
“As soon as we walked into the hospital we were met by a woman with a clipboard, who thrust a pile of papers in my face and demanded that I pay €250 straight away and then €200 for the triage.
“She added only then might they be able to treat him in three or four hours,” Londoner Samantha, 47, told the Olive Press.
“We were due to fly back to London that night, so I asked if they would be able to treat him quickly, but this woman said that unless I paid there and then, he wasn’t going to be treated at all.”
The situation then got worse when she attempted to pay by credit card, as the administrator doubted it was her son.
“Because my surname is Fryer and Josh has a doubled-barreled surname Fryer Bloom, the woman was claiming that he wasn’t my son and she wouldn´t take the card.
“She even started to question if Josh was even British, even though I was waving his passport in front of her”
With Josh in considerable pain and blood pouring out, it was at this point that she lost her temper.
Security was called as she argued with the woman.
“I told them that I didn’t expect to be ransomed but did expect my son to be treated because he was an EU citizen,” explained the graphic designer who was over in Spain with her son for a week’s break.
“The woman replied that they would refuse to treat him because she couldn’t be certain he was British and she didn’t like my attitude.
“She also refused to give us any numbers of private doctors or clinics in the area. It was a disgrace.”
In the end the pair were able to get a number of a private doctor from a friend’s girlfriend, who lives in Benalmadena.
“It took a couple of frantic calls but we found this doctor who treated Josh immediately for only €35,” she continued. “To say I was horrified would be an understatement.
“What is happening to the healthcare system here in Spain?”
They were then able to catch their flights back to London, where he went immediately to St Mary’s Paddington where he undertook further emergency treatment.
“I’m totally appalled by what happened” Samantha said. “I would expect this sort of thing to happen in the US, but not in the EU to a British citizen? And what would have happened if my son had been on his own?
“Would he have been left to suffer in pain until somebody paid for his treatment?
“I am now considering legal action against the hospital.”