Mexican hospital refuses to let Belledune couple leave until $65K medical bill paid in full

A Belledune couple vacationing in Mexico are finally allowed to return home after being stuck with a gigantic medical bill.

David Hughes was diagnosed with lung cancer during his annual winter get-away to the Yucatan Peninsula with his wife in February.

Hughes was too sick to travel home to Canada so opted for chemotherapy in Mexico.

The couple had no health insurance and were forced to empty their bank accounts and cash in their RRSPs, but were still about $10,000 short to cover the $65,000 medical bill.

The hospital refused to let them leave until the bill was paid in full, which happened thanks to the generosity of friends and family back home in New Brunswick.

Toronto lawyer Luis Guillermo Cruz Rico says it appears Hughes'  medical service provider acted unreasonably and that Canadians admitted to Mexican hospitals should insist on getting treatment details including cost.

He says there isn't always transparency and that Canadians often mistakenly think things in Mexico work like they do back home.

The Hughes are expected to return to Canada next week.

(with files from ICI Radio-Canada)