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Medical tourism weaknesses

20th March 2008

A survey by the consumer magazine Which? has revealed that people who combine a foreign holiday with an operation are often left to deal with complications.

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Of the 299 people polled in the survey, 18% admitted they had suffered health problems after their treatment such as infections.

Some 8% required urgent NHS care on their return to this country.

Relatively low prices for surgery and dentistry in other countries has seen a surge in people travelling abroad for treatment. Figures show that an estimated 80,000 people from the UK went abroad for cheaper surgery in 2006.

An example by Which? shows that a tummy tuck which would cost £4,000 in this country was only half that price in Poland.

Neil Fowler, the Editor of Which?, said: “Medical tourists should do their homework before jumping on the plane, and avoid rushing back too quickly if they want to avoid potential problems.

“Ask the right questions beforehand, speak to UK health professionals and don’t assume you’ll have a safety net if things don’t go according to plan.?

Many of the people in the Which? survey said they were satisfied with their treatment but about 25% felt they had not received the right follow up care after treatment.

The consumer organisation also expressed concern about advice offered to patients after one firm offering surgery overseas suggested that a full knee replacement was not a risky procedure and that the patient would not need to be followed up by a clinician on returning to the UK.

 

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Article Information

Title: Medical tourism weaknesses
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 6057
Date Added: 20th Mar 2008

Sources

BBC News
NetDoctor

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