MUM Joanne Simpson today told of her double holiday blow when she was hit with a £1,000 hospital bill after suffering a miscarriage.
The 28-year-old said she was stunned to receive the demand, which she was forced to pay before being allowed to leave the Creta InterClinic Hospital, in Crete.
The teaching assistant, from Shiney Row, said a delay in her insurance company being sent medical reports by the hospital meant she and husband Michael had to use a credit card to cover the cost and are still fighting to recover the cash.
Recalling her holiday horror, mum-of-one Joanne said: “We had been out for a meal when I suddenly started to feel sick. We went to a local drop-in centre and the next thing I knew, they had me in an ambulance. They had me in the hospital for 22 hours carrying out tests.
“Eventually, they told me it was a miscarriage.”
Still reeling from the news, Joanne, who discovered she was pregnant just days before embarking on the holiday, said doctors then told her she would have to have surgery at an estimated cost of £13,000.
“We started to get more and more concerned,” said Joanne. “My parents and four-year-old son were back at the hotel. I couldn’t get through to them directly to tell them what was happening, so I had to call my aunty back in England.
“We asked her to try to call them and because she is an experienced midwife, we explained what the doctors had told us.
“She told me there was no need for an operation. She said I should be discharged pretty much straight away and wait about 10 days before undergoing further treatment.”
Engineer Michael, 43, said they returned from their two-week family break in Stalis this summer in a “state of shock”.
“We just couldn’t believe what had happened,” he said. “We were still in shock over the miscarriage and then they hit us with the bill.
“They wouldn’t let us leave without paying it.
“We gave them our address and bank details, but they still wouldn’t allow us to go.
“All they gave her was a blood test and an ultrasound and charged us £1,000. We spent the rest of the holiday in the hotel, just waiting to go home.”
Almost three months after the ordeal, the couple are still in discussions with their insurance firm over a refund for the medical bill.
They have also made a formal complaint to the Greek hospital about its standard of care.
Joanne went to Sunderland Royal Hospital on her return from holiday for further checks and is now doing well.
The Greek hospital was today unavailable to comment.
JOANNE’S complaint is the second involving Wearside women made to the Echo in recent weeks.
Last week, we told how a teenage holidaymaker faced similar trauma at the same hospital.
Laura Surtees, who rushed her friend to the hospital for emergency treatment, said she was left shocked after discovering she was being pursued by debt collectors over a £9,000 medical bill.
The 18-year-old received the demand after her pal suffered a severe asthma attack while in Malia, Crete.
Ahead of the treatment, Laura said she thought she was signing a consent form, but was instead agreeing to pay for it.
The part-time shop worker, from East Herrington, said a mistake by an ambulance driver meant the pair were taken to a private hospital not covered by their insurance.
A spokeswoman for the Creta InterClinic Hospital said that a “hospitalisation bill” remained unpaid and that a debt collection company was investigating Laura’s case.