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Saudis savaged over Paris hospital bills

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Saudis savaged over Paris hospital bills
Saudi Arabia owes €3.7 million to the Paris public hospital system. File photo: AFP
16:29 CEST+02:00
Saudi royals who took over a public beach in southern France recently should have paid their country's outstanding hospital bills before leaving the country, a top French doctor has said.

"Before leaving, the King of Saudi Arabia could pay its €3.7 million bill to the hospitals of Paris. A gesture of politeness," tweeted Patrick Pelloux, a Paris-based emergency services doctor and activist. 

Pelloux's statement came after the Saudi royals cut short their controversial visit to France's Cote d'Azur which saw angry locals complaining about their commandeering of a public beach.

King Salman and his entourage then muddied the waters by planning the installation of a lift to the beach and then asking the local police force not to send female officers as part of their security detail.

Now, in what could be a final salvo in the summer saga, Pelloux has drawn attention to the multi-million dollar hospital bill owed by Saudi Arabia to public hospitals in Paris.

The hospital network was owed €120 million by foreign nations at the end of 2014, news agency AFP reported in July.

Topping out the list was Algeria which owed €31.5 million, while the United States came next with a bill of €5.7 million and Belgium, in third place, owed €4.9 million. 

The Paris hospital association AP-HP is now working with Lebanon-based firm GlobeMed to recover those debts, Radio France International reported on Tuesday.

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