American tourist stunned after only being charged $31 for night in Morocco hospital

The 23-year-old travel blogger was terrified his overnight stay at Moroccan hospital would bankrob him

Johanna Chisholm
Monday 30 May 2022 19:46 BST
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Christian Grossi, 23, fell ill while travelling in Morocco and was left stunned by the medical bill he was handed for an overnight stay at a hospital in the North African country.
Christian Grossi, 23, fell ill while travelling in Morocco and was left stunned by the medical bill he was handed for an overnight stay at a hospital in the North African country. (TikTok/@Christian.grossi)

While backpacking across Morocco, an American tourist was forced to take home an unexpected souvenir to commemorate his travels abroad: a $31 medical bill.

Travel blogger Christian Grossi, 23, shared his recent experience of what it was like to fall ill from food poisoning while travelling in a foreign country on his TikTok account, with the video now garnering more than 1.6 million views.

“I ended up passing out and collapsing on the sidewalk,” the 23-year-old explains in his follow-up from his original video which outlined how he’d fallen ill on his last day visiting the North African country. “I then woke up to four Moroccan men pouring water on my head only speaking Arabic except for one word: hospital.”

Being American, Mr Grossi was familiar with his country’s privatised healthcare system, where even running some standard tests can leave you wanting for thousands of dollars, not to mention a visit to the emergency room.

But given the weary shape that he found himself in, he forced himself to concede to the men’s requests and took himself to the nearest hospital.

Upon arrival, Mr Grossi says that he was hooked up to two different IVs to receive antibiotics and replenish his fluids and when he awoke the next day, he felt a world away from what he’d experienced just 24 hours earlier.

When he was in the process of being discharged, a nurse handed him his medical bill, which he admits in the video that, before reading the charge, began to cause him distress.

“I didn’t have health insurance, so I had no idea how much this was going to cost me,” he said.

Upon being given the receipt, the American travel blogger was shocked to discover that not only did the overnight stay and the antibiotics not bank rob him, but that it would only cost him $31, a fee that could only be paid for in cash.

The US outspends most other nations with similar economies on health care, devoting nearly twice as much of its GDP as the average OECD country, according to the Commonwealth Fund, and it’s out-of-pocket health spending per person, which is the second-highest in the OECD, makes it increasingly difficult for the average American to afford even the most basic medical care.

Oftentimes, desperate citizens turn to fundraising platforms such as GoFundMe as a substitute medical for medical insurance, with the company confirming recently that nearly a third of the site’s campaigns are devoted to covering medical bills.

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