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New PriceWatch survey points to big savings to be made in medical tourism

Press release

 

Save 82% on prostate removal, 85% on cheek implants and 61% on dental implants

 

More than 50,000 people from the UK travel for treatment abroad each year and the number is growing fast. (Source: International Passenger Survey 2005).

 

A new independent survey commissioned for the www.treatmentabroad.net web site shows that savings of over 80% can be made by going abroad for some surgery and treatment.

 

Comparing prices to the cost of private treatment in the UK, the biggest savings in elective surgery to be made are on prostate removal in Bulgaria with an 82% cost reduction and gall bladder removal, saving 79%.   Turkey also offered major package savings in six procedures from cataract removal and eye surgery to coronary angioplasty and partial knee replacement. The comparative costs are for a complete package including treatment, travel and accommodation. 

 

In cosmetic surgery, the biggest package savings of between 80 and 85% can be made on cheek implants, liposuction and facelifts. Bulgaria once again offered the greatest savings in 13 cosmetic procedures although Morocco is the cheapest place to go for breast augmentation.

 

Dental treatment – considered increasingly costly in the UK – is also under threat from other countries such as Latvia, Poland and Croatia. Package savings of up to 61% can be made on dental implants, 52% for wisdom tooth extraction and 44% for full acrylic dentures.

 

“While there is no researched data, the number of medical tourists is growing rapidly and it is believed that more than 50,000 people in UK are now travelling abroad for treatment,” said Keith Pollard, whose company, Intuition Communication, owns and manages the www.treatmentabroad.net web site.

 

 “We have seen monthly visits to the site grow from 3,000 to 30,000 in under 12 months and if low cost destinations such as Bulgaria or Latvia don’t appeal, there are plenty of other countries to choose from that still give major savings, from Germany and Belgium to India and Malaysia. This is the first survey to attempt to accurately compare prices for procedures in other countries and while we have been thorough in our methodology, prices and comparisons are indicative rather than definitive,” adds Pollard.

 

The survey carried out by European Research Specialists Ltd compiled data from 108 clinics, hospitals and healthcare providers in 30 countries, roughly a third of the estimated number of overseas hospitals and clinics promoting their services to the UK market. The price comparisons take into account hospital and doctor charges as well as typical flights and hotel bills for the expected length of stay. Accommodation prices are based on 3 star hotels booked through Expedia while travel is the average of five online prices for a 7-day return flight /train booked two months ahead. These overseas packages are compared to UK procedures offered by major UK private hospitals.

 

“Many clinics and medical tourism companies are now offering an all-in package embracing all procedure, travel and accommodation costs that may offer additional savings,” explains Pollard.  “Patients who have become “medical tourists” have been extremely positive about their experience and the quality of care that they have received.”

 

There is no doubt that medical tourism from the UK is on the increase helped further by the recent European ruling that the National Health Service must fund treatment in the EU if patients face “undue delay”.

 

ends

 

A password protected downloadable PDF copy of the Treatment Abroad Price Watch Survey 2006 is available.

 

Notes to editors:

www.treatmentabroad.net is managed by Intuition Communication Ltd and is the first web site designed to meet the needs of an increasing number of people looking abroad for cost effective surgery and medical treatment. The site provides clear advice on all types of treatment from dentistry and cosmetic surgery to knee and hip operations and fertility treatment.

 

The Treatment Abroad PriceWatch Survey 2006 has been compiled by Intuition Communication and European Research Specialists Ltd  who compiled data from 108 clinics in 30 countries, roughly a third of the estimated number of overseas healthcare providers promoting their services to the UK market.