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Mother in the red after costly childbirth

Charlotte West · 5 Aug 2009, 12:17

Published: 05 Aug 2009 12:17 GMT+02:00

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The woman, who lacked a Swedish residence permit when she gave birth to a baby boy at Uppsala University Hospital in February 2008, received an invoice for 65,000 kronor from the hospital.

Unable to pay the bill, she saw the unpaid bill referred to the Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogden). In a letter to the Swedish government viewed by The Local, she has called for assistance in alleviating the debt. As a recipient of social welfare payments, she says she is not in a position to cover the cost.

“I was obviously forced to give birth. I didn't spent 63,936 on luxury items,” she wrote in her plea.

“In a country like Sweden, with its exceptional democratic principles and human rights, I don't understand how you don't in the first place help people in difficult situations in your own country,” she continued.

Story continues below…

The Local has been unable to reach the woman for comment.

Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:03 August 5, 2009 by apostolos1975
So, either it took more than 9 months to get a Personnummer or she was pregnant when she arrived in the country. In the former case I would say that the migrationverket should foot the bill. In the later case she should pay for it. I dont see why the tax payers should cover this. Of course migrationsverket=tax payers and in that case they should do something about their system.
14:15 August 5, 2009 by Puffin
It is unclear from the article why she was in Sweden - with certain types of visa it is a condition to have your own health insurance
14:41 August 5, 2009 by Brtahan
i feel she should pay a minimal fee, health and education should be free of cost to all ppl living in sweden. even in developing countries government health care is not free but you pay very less. And i feel there so many noble ppl who work , dont mind that their tax goes for that.(helping a person in need) plus its an emergency not like a plastic surgery or something.
16:29 August 5, 2009 by mkvgtired
"The woman, who lacked a Swedish residence permit...a recipient of social welfare payments"

Wow, she just got there and she is already taking advantage of the system.
16:34 August 5, 2009 by byke
I wonder what nationality the child is? If the child is classed as "swedish", could she insist that the debt was caused by the child and since he was underage to agree to a contract it becomes null and void?
16:35 August 5, 2009 by Puffin
It's is very vague from this article why she was in Sweden and whether this was a planning or unplanned event. I would be a bit more sympathetic if the baby arrived early and unplanned.

Only those in who are registered with Försäkringskassan are entitled to subsidised healthcare. Many types of permit require you to have you own health insurance.
16:44 August 5, 2009 by Iraniboy
It doesn't make sense to me. If she had come to Sweden without a resident permit, she might be here on a Schengen visa. AFAIK a person who applies for a schengen visa, should have a complete insurance convereage prior to application for visa. Besdies if she had a schengen visa, her visa can be as much as 3 months that is far less than 7 or 9 months!

Maybe the story is different then I don't judge based on above criteria.
16:47 August 5, 2009 by Puffin
Possibly she has overstayed a visa - or was an asylum seeker?
16:50 August 5, 2009 by Puffin
Well not exactly - in Sweden it is quite possible to register debts in children's names as there is a nasty legal loopehole - and some health authorities register debts for treatment/medication in the child's name - if the parents do not pay the debt then the child gets a very nasty shock on their 18th birthday when they find out that their parents have ruined their credit.
17:07 August 5, 2009 by byke
A friend of mine got into deep shnitz a few years back over here.

He is English, and was living over here and after a couple years he discovered he had problems with his kidney and was in and out of hospital hooked up on the old morphine (never any surgery) eventually he got multiple bills to pay which he couldn't as he was uber skint and had no job (living off friends) there had been some sort of issues with his E1 11 I think, and the bills just kept coming to the point where I believe he had to declare him self bankrupt.

My point is that regardless of the who is right and wrong I did get to see the ferocity of the medical debt agencies which I must say was very harsh and I wouldn't want to find myself in that situation.
17:17 August 5, 2009 by Mister E
If this woman is an EU citizen then I don't think there should be a problem. It's curious that the article doesn't mention the woman's nationality.
20:18 August 5, 2009 by randyt
So I have a question. If a non-Swedish citzen choses to live in Sweden say 3-6 months out of the year and how would they obtain health care? Is their a form of private insurance? In this woman's case it looks like she would either needed private coverage or a lot of cash.
22:03 August 5, 2009 by Iraniboy

For a non-Swedish non EU citizen:

-who want to live in Sweden for one day to one year, they have to acquire an international insurance valid in Sweden for the whole period they spend in Sweden.

-who want to live in Sweden more than a year, they are under Swedish insurance coverage as Swedish citizens are. They need to register their names in skatteverket and apply for a personummer.

For a non-Swedish EU citizen:

They just need to claim in skatteverket that they want to live in Sweden more than a year, then they will be granted a personummer and health insurance coverage right away.

In either cases there is no problem so I don't know what has happened to this woman.
22:04 August 5, 2009 by Kaethar
This woman is clearly an asylum seeker who has not received a residence permit (yet). This is the only way she could be living on welfare without residency and without having previously worked.

So, as far as the legal aspect goes she is still in the country illegally. Hospitals will not refuse treatment but if you're not a part of the system you have to pay hospital bills yourself.

If this law was not in place it would mean anyone who makes it illegally into Sweden would be able to get free healthcare at the expense of taxpayers money.

So I'm not completely against the bill but I'll admit it's a tad steep.
22:05 August 5, 2009 by Iraniboy

Maybe she is from india!!

Can you stop your slander and sometimes racial and hateful comments?
23:13 August 5, 2009 by snuke
i am a Swedish citizen but not living in sweden .so when i go home and visit can i not go "free" to a hospital .and i paid my taxes before moving away . way should a non register person get healthcare for "free" .
08:21 August 6, 2009 by Puffin
You have to have private insurance - you can buy policies either in your own country or in Sweden
08:23 August 6, 2009 by byke
Playing devils advocate.

If the child is a swedish citizen now,......

Could she claim that the costs incurred were from the childs side and that under the swedish system "healthcare" is free to minors ;) LOL
08:55 August 6, 2009 by Kemi
An adult woman decides to get pregnant when she has no form of health insurance coverage, then she acts surprised when she sees the bill and tries to play on people's sympathy, pathetic. She's living in a dream world. Why should we pay for her stupidity?
09:23 August 6, 2009 by Puffin
There is nothing in the article to suggest that the child is Swedish - just being born in Sweden does not give a child the right of citizenship - children take their parents' citizenship
10:50 August 6, 2009 by Caribbean guy/Swedish Gal
ADOPT/BUY a dog nexttime....!!!

Puffin only place ive heard of that citizenship issue is Saudi Arabia..never heard of that to be an issue in western countries!!!!
12:16 August 7, 2009 by Hedley
Ok, obviously the article lack of enough information to make an opinion: that Sherlock would have said.

I am agree only with Sherlock.

I have never heard about "jus sanguinis" (only gain citizenship by the parents) only state like Sweden. My country is both "jus sanguinis" and "jus solis" (getting citizenshio by birth), indeed here some high official positions and working as a medical doctor can only be performed as "jus solis" citizenship here.
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