NHS to fund dentistry abroad
 

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NHS to fund dentistry abroad

 

NHS to fund dentistry abroad

The NHS must fund treatment for patients who face unwarranted delays for UK treatment said the European Court of Justice earlier this month. Paying for private dentistry in the UK is already forcing patients to seek treatment abroad for implants, crowns, bridges and cosmetic dentistry.

A website, treatmentabroad.net has been launched to support patients, with a dedicated page devoted to dentistry.

It includes information devoted to dental treatment, including participating dental practises in countries such as Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Philippines, Poland and Turkey.
Keith Pollard, managing director of Treatment Abroad, says that the growth of medical tourism should be seen as an attractive option for both the NHS and for patients.

Nottingham-based John Derrick, 45, was diagnosed with gum disease and quoted £2,500 for surgery in the UK. The price urged him to search online for alternative options.

He contacted a surgery in Cyprus and was told they could perform the surgery for £800. This price also included the cost of prescribing the antibiotics he would also need to take after surgery.

Derrick went ahead with treatment and treated himself and his wife to a holiday in Cyprus at the same time.

He said: ‘The procedure was not painful at all and I was surprised how quickly it was over, the best part was that I didn’t feel a thing! My teeth felt better immediately and by the second day my bad breath had gone.’

The surgeries are designed exclusively to serve British patients and guarantees saving more than 50% on the treatment compared to the UK. The British-Hungarian Medical Service in Budapest offers a free meeting and greeting at the airport, free transfers between the airport and clinic, free consultation, a free panoramic X-ray and free dental hygiene treatment.

But the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) is urging patients to stop and and think before travelling abroad for dental treatment asking them, ‘what will you do if something goes wrong?’

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF, commented: ‘Before rushing into something as drastic as that, it is important to give careful consideration to the possible risks, because not all dentists may be as highly trained as those in the UK.

‘In addition, people must consider what they will do if something goes wrong. Even something minor, like adjusting a crown would require an expensive and probably very inconvenient return flight. Then there is the question of what rights you have as a patient. I suppose you have to ask yourself – is it really worth the risk?’

Meanwhile, organisers of the India Medical Tourism Expo ’06 (IMTE) are expecting more visitors to attend this year’s exhibition since the ruling was announced.

Hospitals attending this year’s event are all forecasting an increase in the number of foreign patients visiting the country this year under the banner of ‘Medical Tourism.’

Prasant Saha managing director of IMTE said: ‘It’s all about patient choice; people are fed up with long waiting lists and can see the benefit of treatment abroad.

‘This ruling is significant; it opens the door for patients seeking alternatives when exploring their options.

‘India has world class doctors and hospitals and we will continue to lobby the UK government to recognise our country as a leading healthcare destination.’

There are over 40 exhibitors offering medical procedures including dentistry, cosmetic, botox and maxillofacial.


 Posted on : Wed 7th - Jun - 2006

 

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