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DHB To Apologise For Billing Distressed Mum

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
DHB To Apologise For Billing Distressed Mum

Wellington, Nov 3 NZPA - The Auckland District Health Board will apologise to a mother whose unborn baby did not survive a publicly funded procedure at Auckland Hospital and was sent a $2200 bill for the treatment.

Sarah Wilson told One News the invoice left her traumatised all over again, 10 months after losing her baby.

The bill covered five specialist consultations in Auckland Hospital, the first four being for specialised in-utero blood transfusions for the baby.

Sadly the girl, named Tess, did not survive the treatment.

The Auckland DHB said Ms Wilson was sent the bill because she didn't have proof of her New Zealand citizenship.

It said she was sent four appointment letters telling her she would need to provide it on arrival at the hospital.

Ms Wilson said she had the proof with her but was never once asked to produce it.

Auckland DHB chief medical officer Dr Margaret Wilsher said the DHB was only following Ministry of Health rules and that many other patients face similar demands.

Every year the DHB had to write off hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid healthcare bills.

Dr Wilsher acknowledged the bill must have added to Ms Wilson's distress after losing her baby.

The DHB said if Ms Wilson provided her passport details the bill would vanish.

Dr Wilsher said processes around eligibility to public funded health care needed to improve.

The DHB would provide Ms Wilson with an explanation and an apology.

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