Doctors’ cash demands cost man his life

Dale Nord, of Ossett, who died on hoilday in Indonesia.
Dale Nord, of Ossett, who died on hoilday in Indonesia.

A MAN who died on holiday might have survived had he not been refused treatment by doctors while they demanded money, an inquest heard.

Dale Nord, 43, of Ossett, was brought to hospital unconscious after falling ill at his hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.

But doctors demanded 1,700 dollars, equivalent to £1,040, before they would move him into an intensive care unit, the hearing was told.

Mr Nord’s sister April, of Barnsley, said in a statement that she became aware of the situation through a phone call from one of his friends who was with him at the hospital.

She was told Mr Nord was apparently in a diabetic coma and had suffered a cardiac arrest but had been resuscitated.

She contacted the British Embassy in Jakarta, who were unable to supply funds, and then tried to pay by credit card. But the hospital would not accept it as a signature could not be provided.

Despite Mr Nord’s friend paying 700 dollars to get him moved into ICU, April was phoned later that day to be told her brother had died.

Reading April’s statement to Bradford Coroner’s Court, Coroner Roger Whittaker said: “She was appalled at the medical treatment. If 700 dollars had not been handed over it is likely he would not have been treated at all.”

Giving evidence, Dr Mark Freeman said the most likely cause of Mr Nord’s death was alcoholic ketoacidosis – the alcohol in his system stopping the body from synthesising its blood sugar and leading to increased acidity.

Dr Freeman said: “His chance of survival would have been greater had he received emergency treatment as soon as he came through the door.”

Giving a narrative verdict Mr Whittaker said: “It is a tragic case. This condition was not recognised by clinicians treating him.

“There was a delay in treating him. I believe if there had not been those delays he may have survived.”

Mr Nord had a history of drinking and did not have medical insurance while he was in Indonesia.