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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.

Which?