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Hospital Healthcare Europe
Hospital Healthcare Europe

Which? warning on medical tourism

20 March, 2008  

UK consumer group Which? is warning those planning to travel abroad for clinical procedures to do their research beforehand to avoid repercussions.

In a poll of almost 300 UK residents who went overseas for medical treatment in the past five years, Which? found that 18% had experienced complications.

Which? cites as examples a tummy tuck going septic and liposuction leading to one person’s stomach ‘leaking cellulite’.

Over 25% of survey respondents felt that they had not received the necessary level of follow-up care. A rather less fortunate 8% had to turn to the NHS for emergency help with complications relating to their treatment.

Which? Editor Neil Fowler said: “Medical tourists must 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.”
Cheap prices and short waiting times are tempting people to travel abroad for surgery and dental treatments.

According to Which?, a dental implant in Hungary costs £750 compared with £2,200 in the UK, while a tummy tuck that would cost £4,000 in the UK could be half the price in Poland.

The group urges those planning to travel abroad for treatment to check the credentials of the doctor.