Most popular treatments abroad for UK patients over fifty
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Most popular treatments abroad
for UK patients over fifty

 


 

 

 

Medical tourism


Nowadays phenomenon of travelling abroad for medical procedures is called the medical tourism or global healthcare. The main reason why people pack their bags and head to foreign places is increasing demand for faster or cheaper alternatives to the healthcare services at home.


The first “medical tourists” were the Greek pilgrims thousands years ago. They travelled from all over the Mediterranean region to the small city called Epidauria which was famous for its sacramental healing effect. The pilgrims went there believing that their health related problems would be cured.


The UK tops the list of medical tourism today


According to the Treatment Abroad Medical Tourism Survey 2012, the British people top the list of the medical tourists from all over the world. In fact, 55% of the people who travel abroad for health care are from the UK. In addition, an abundance of British web pages offering detailed information about treatments abroad just proves that it is extremely popular among the British.


What are the British seeking abroad?


Firstly, the British people are looking for cheaper alternative to the health care offered in the UK. International surveys have revealed that the UK charges higher prices for health care than the majority of other countries in the world. For example, the average cost of tummy tuck in the UK is £4,810, while it is £1,227 in Lithuania and £1,074 in Brazil. In addition, the average dental implants (Zimmer system) cost in the UK is £2,000 while it is £557 in Croatia or Italy and £530 in Lithuania. Also, while the average hip replacement cost in the UK is £8,000, you can get it for £3,537 in India or for £2,784 in Bulgaria.


Furthermore, patients usually face a long wait for medical procedures in the UK. The National Health Service (NHS) is trying to cope with this problem by suggesting treatment in European Economic Area countries (Tab.1). If you can get the treatment quicker at the foreign hospital, you are entitled to reclaim its cost from the NHS. However, this system does not include such procedures as cosmetic surgery.
Additionally, the research revealed that most people expect higher quality of specialists (doctors or dentists) and facility abroad.


Leading treatments abroad for the British over 50


The majority of British people who are over 50 travel abroad for cosmetic surgery. This includes such procedures like face and neck lifts, eyelid surgery, liposuction, abdominoplasty (also known as tummy tuck).
Further, the British are forced to pay higher prices for oral healthcare than people in other Europe countries. Consequently, one of the most common health-related reasons why the UK people over 50 go abroad is dental treatment, specifically, dental implants.


Moreover, according to the National Obesity Observatory, the prevalence of obesity in England was 26% among men and 26% among women in 2010. It is increasing and predicted to affect 60% of men and 50% of women by 2050. Accordingly, surgical treatment of obesity which is known as bariatric surgery is a significant purpose of healthcare abroad.


Additionally, the other common treatment abroad is orthopaedic surgery. Hip and knee replacements seem to be in great demand.


Where do the British travel for healthcare?


According to the International Passenger Survey, the vast majority of the British (about 80%) who travel for healthcare purposes go to other European countries. Belgium, Poland, Czech, Hungary, France, Spain and Turkey are among the most visited. Other British people choose further countries such as India or the US.


Are there any risks of medical tourism?


Everything goes smoothly if you avoid some main mistakes.


First, you should not book a treatment without a proper consultation. A consultation with a surgeon or other competent people is always available.


Secondly, you should not ignore the importance of the aftercare. You should plan your stay in a foreign country keeping in mind that an average recovery period after surgery takes 1-2 weeks, depending on the procedure.


Finally, you should try to avoid communication problems due to language difference.

 




 

 

 

 


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