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Medical surgery abroad -
Information, tips, advice & resources

Even if you didn't follow the exploits of Coronation Street's Blanche, as she travelled to Gdansk for a hip replacement a few years ago, you probably came across the concept of "medical tourism" at some point in recent months, as many magazines and newspapers carried articles about patients from the United Kingdom who had saved thousands of pounds on their medical bills by travelling abroad for treatment.

Dental and medical surgery certainly costs a lot less abroad, but surely you get what you pay for? Alison Hope of StatMedica looks at some of the reasons why patients are packing their bags and reaching for their passports, and also offers practical tips and advice for anyone considering treatment abroad.

It is believed that 50,000 patients from the United Kingdom travel abroad for dental or medical treatment each year , and it is widely believed that this this number will increase as more and more patients consider their options abroad. Patients are travelling as far as India, Malaysia and South Africa for surgery, although countries closer to home such are Hungary and Poland are also emerging as popular destinations.

Cost is one of the most important factors: For many patients in the United Kingdom, procedures in a private clinic can be prohibitively expensive, yet a patient who undergoes treatment in a private clinic in Poland can expect to pay up to 70% less. This lower price does not reflect the standard of treatment of qualification of the surgeon, it is simply lower because the cost of living is much lower in Poland.

In many cases, considerable savings can be made - even once the cost of flights and accommodation has been taken into consideration. This especially the case as many low-cost airlines have expended their routes into Central and Eastern Europe, making a return flight to Warsaw not much more expensive than the train fare from London to Bristol!

As patients who travel abroad for surgery typically tend to be more thorough in researching their procedure and the qualifications of the surgeon than patients who have treatment in their home town, you may find yourself being treated by one of Europe's top specialists.

With limited dental treatment available on the NHS, dentistry is one of the most common procedures that patients who travel to Poland undergo: If we take dental implants as an example, A patient can expect to pay £2, 400 for a single implant at a dental clinic in the United Kingdom, yet would pay in the region of £800 in Poland. This price comparison is based on both dentists using the same materials - the same brands of dental implant that are used by dentists in the United Kingdom are also used in Poland, and in most cases come with a 5-10 year guarantee.

In the light of current anxiety over standards of hygiene in hospitals following reported instances of the MRSA super bug in the United Kingdom, it is only natural to wonder how standards fare in other countries. In Poland for example, infection control is taken very seriously, which would explain why there are fewer instances of MRSA in private clinics there.

Whether you are considering dental treatment, eye surgery or a hip replacement, here are a few practical tips to ensure that you get the most out of your treatment abroad:

Don't make any decisions based on price alone: Be prepared to pay more for a more experienced specialist - by having treatment in Poland, it will still work out a lot less than surgery performed by a similarly experienced surgeon or specialist in the United Kingdom.

Be specific about what you have in mind, and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions, as this will help the surgeon to understand your expectations. As flights to Poland are fairly inexpensive if you fly with a low-cost carrier, you might want to consider travelling to Poland for an initial consultation before scheduling your procedure.

Be sure to pay attention to the post-operative the advice of your surgeon or specialist. It is worth considering spending a few extra days in Poland, before returning home. During this time, you can stay at a spa resort, taking it easy and relaxing after your treatment.

Bear in mind that a trip abroad for dental or medical treatment is different to a regular holiday, so it is important to choose your travelling companion carefully - ideally somebody who is patient and will be able to help you get dressed and go to the toilet if necessary.

Also think carefully about your packing. Depending on your procedure, you may wish to pack loose fitting clothes and comfortable shoes. Also make room for plenty of books, magazines and an mp3 player to keep you entertained during your recovery period.

StatMedica is a unique partnership with English-speaking staff in both the United Kingdom and in Poland. It offers a wide range of services for patients travelling to Poland for dental and medical treatment.
It works with highly regarded hospitals and clinics, which specialise in a variety of treatments, including cosmetic surgery, dentistry, eye surgery, fertility treatment and general surgery. StatMedica selects its partner clinics based on a series of strict criteria.

StatMedica offers patients a personal service depending on their individual needs at every step of the process - from guidance on selecting the most suitable hospital to planning the logistic aspects of travel to Poland. English-speaking staff in Poland also provide local support, including airport transfer, translation and 24 hour care by an English-speaking healthcare professional.

If you have any further questions regarding treatment abroad, please call Alison Hope on 0780 571 5527 or e-mail enquiries@statmedica.co.uk. Alternatively visit www.statmedica.com

Please check back to this 'medical surgery abroad' section soon for regular updates

Related pages:

Spa breaks & resorts in Poland

Cheaper dental & medical treatment abroad

Health clinics - Poland





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