Illegal Migrant Uses Fake ID to Get NHS Transplant While Locals Die on Waiting List

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: A surgeon and his theatre team perform key hole surgery to remove a gallbladder at at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it …
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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.

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.

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.

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