Nothing illegal about birth tourism at B.C. hospitals (St. Paul's Hospital)

Federal authorities say foreign nationals coming to Vancouver to have babies aren’t breaking any laws as long as they can show they have money to pay for their medical care.

Birth tourism is becoming increasingly popular, especially in Richmond, where non-resident births are steadily rising, from just 18 in 2010 to 339 in the past fiscal year. Women primarily from China are seeking labour and delivery services at Richmond Hospital. Canada Border Services spokeswoman Sarah Lawley-Wakelin said pregnancy is “not a reason in itself to not admit a tourist.

By comparison, St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver has had 17 diversions to date in 2016. Diversions occur due to lack of beds or high risk births requiring special services. (Fraser Health hospitals don’t track the number of diversions at hospitals in that region).

Pamela Fayerman reports

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