Poorly OAPAnthony Rigby is stuck in Spanish hospital
STRANDED pensioner Anthony Rigby faces having to pay £13,000 in medical fees after being stuck in Spanish hospitals since New Year's Eve.
The 65-year-old had to be rushed into a private hospital after collapsing with breathing difficulties during a two-week family holiday in Fuengirola.
He had an E11 form – which provides free healthcare in the EU – but was taken to the private hospital because that was the only one with an intensive care unit.
He was later transferred to a state-run hospital and hopes to fly back to Britain on Friday.
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But Mr Rigby – who needed kidney dialysis – faces having to pick up the bill for his treatment at the private hospital because of a dispute over his holiday insurance.
Speaking from his hospital bed, the retired miner said: "I am desperate to come home. I have been in Spain for weeks and I am all alone.
"The doctors have told me I am getting better and that I will be able to go home soon but they said I will end up paying out 20,000 euros. I am frustrated to be here. The only contact I have had with my family is over the phone."
Mr Rigby, of Smallthorne, flew to Spain with his daughter Julie and his five-year-old grandson Kieran on December 21.
But the pair flew home as planned on January 4.
Julie, aged 32, of Norton, said: "We didn't want to fly back and leave him out there because we didn't know what was wrong, but we thought he would have been home by now.
"He has been stranded for weeks and they keep asking him for money which he just hasn't got. He says the doctors aren't communicating with him. He is desperate to come home but he is worried that if he discharges himself then he will fall ill on the plane.
"We just want him home because at least if he is here then we can see what is going on. It is not nice knowing he is on his own over there."
Mr Rigby's other daughter, Joanne, flew out to see her dad after learning he was ill.
The 33-year-old, of Smallthorne, who has now returned home, said: "He has been on his own for so long.
"We have been ringing around everywhere since we have been back to try to get him home.
"We were told it would cost him about £4,500 for the treatment but now we are being told it will cost much more than that. He is vulnerable at the moment and we are worried he is being taken advantage of."
Insurance firm White Horse has refused to pay for Mr Rigby's medical treatment after saying his policy did not cover pre-existing illnesses.
A spokesman for White Horse, which is part of the Thomas Cook group, said: "It is always sad when holidaymakers fall ill on holiday.
"So we do stress the need for clients to disclose any pre-existing conditions when purchasing travel insurance as policies will exclude claims such as Mr Rigby's.
"We were very sorry to hear of his illness and wish him a speedy recovery."