Wife’s dispute with husband’s employer over medical expenses

British woman is locked in a dispute with her husband’s employer over medical expenses after he suffered a heart attack at work which left him in intensive care.

DUBAI // A woman whose husband is in a coma with severe brain damage after suffering a heart attack is locked in a dispute with his employer over medical expenses.

The man, a 53-year-old British expatriate who works for a furniture retailer, was at his desk when he collapsed on May 4. His wife says that instead of calling an ambulance, staff at the company carried him out of the office and took him to hospital in the back of a car while he was having difficulty breathing.

The man is now on a life support machine at Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah.

“Nobody did anything medical for him and nobody thought to call him an ambulance,” said his wife, and his condition was “bleak”. She has asked for the couple’s names, and that of the company, not to be published for now.

The man began work in February this year. It is thought his health insurance papers were still being processed during his employment probationary period when he suffered the heart attack.

Medical bills have reached about Dh66,000. The wife says the company is refusing to pay those expenses, or for transporting the man back to the UK.

The couple’s 19-year-old son, who lives in the UK, has launched a Facebook appeal to raise the money to transport his father home, and any legal costs from a dispute over medical bills in Dubai. It has raised Dh64,000.

The man’s wife said the family was facing destitution as they had little in the way of savings after several years of unemployment and were living in rented accommodation in the UK.

The woman, who has been married for 28 years and described her husband as her “best friend”, said she blamed his company for failing in its duty of care.

“They’ve taken my husband away from me, and I’ll never be able to talk to him again,” she said.

mcroucher@thenational.ae

Published: May 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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