An illegal immigrant from Albania who used a fake ID to get a kidney transplant, costing the National Health Service (NHS) more than £72,000, has been imprisoned.
Fatmira Tafa, 31, came to Britain in 2014 in the back of a lorry to be with a man she met on the internet.
Nadricim Bengasi, also an illegal immigrant, gave Tafa a falsified Greek ID in the name of Eleni Manola, so that she could pose as a European Union citizen and gain access to British benefits and services, reports WalesOnline.
It was while living in Cardiff, Wales, that she became ill and received treatment and a kidney transplant on the NHS at University Hospital Wales in October 2016, costing the hospital a total of £72,469.
As an Albanian citizen, she would have been placed on dialysis, stabilised, and returned to Albania — but, posing as an EU citizen, she gained access to Wales’s organ waiting list, depriving a British person of the life-saving operation.
Britain’s Left Demands NHS Serves the World, Is Actually INTERNATIONAL Health Service
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 30, 2017
The crime only came to light after Tafa’s boyfriend had been deported and she told medical staff at a check-up that she had defrauded the NHS.
Tafa then lodged an asylum application with the Home Office, which is still pending.
In Wales in 2015/16, there were 242 patients waiting for a vital organ transplant — up 10 per cent from two years before — and 27 people died waiting.
Last year, the NHS reported that across the whole of the United Kingdom, waiting time for a kidney transplant was down by 18 per cent, but patients were still having to wait 944 days — more than two and a half years.
The taxpayer-funded health service also noted that since the previous World Kidney Day, 62 per cent of patients who have died waiting for an organ transplant were waiting for a kidney.
“Health tourism” continues to cost the UK taxpayer around £2 billion a year, with one non-EU citizen leaving a Manchester hospital with a £530,000 bill.
However, Tafa’s prison term will last only 14 months — and she may spend only a fraction of this in custody rather than on license in the community — with Judge Jeremy Jenkins telling her the court had “great sympathy” for her.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 2, 2016
It is not just non-EU citizens who are short-changing Britons. Figures obtained from the Department of Health through Freedom of Information requests showed that the United Kingdom paid out over £630 million to EU and other European Economic Area countries like Norway for Britons’ health care abroad under supposedly reciprocal rules.
However, the UK claimed back only a little under £66.5 million from EU/EEA countries for NHS treatment — a discrepancy of some £564 million, or £11 million a week.