Medical tourism from the UK
Medical tourism is the process of traveling cross-border in order to obtain medical care. There might be many reasons why people decide to do it: lack of possibilities in their home country or long waiting lists, lower costs and compensations by insurance companies if travelling abroad. In this article we will focus on UK-based patients and will try to give you an insight into the main principles and advice on orthopaedic surgeries abroad.
Such surgeries occupy leading positions amongst the main procedures which are provided to medical tourists. While the UK can offer all the facilities and types of surgeries to patients in their own country, many people decide to go abroad and pay privately.
As the population continues to age, the number of diseases like osteoarthritis are increasing and the demand for surgery is growing. There is no clear picture on the waiting duration but many patients need to wait for up to a year in order to obtain help. This is one of the reasons why UK citizens decide to go abroad.
Not all patients know that in some cases the treatment abroad is compensated by the local health insurer according to the EU directive 2011/24/EU. This directive was created to simplify the process of obtaining cross-border healthcare, provide additional information on the procedures and make sure that all UK citizens are protected and are able to obtain high quality services.
Patients should contact their NCP to get maximum information and details about the journey. They will be given information about prior authorisation of the treatment and reimbursement of costs.
But if you don’t want to interconnect with government facilities and want to do everything privately, the help can come from the hospital or the country councils. You can contact them directly and get additional information.
Medical tourism in Latvia
The market of medical tourism has lots of representatives and patients choose them according to many criteria. Some choose a country which is closer to their homeland, others want to combine surgery with relaxation on the beach, and some choose a hospital according to testimonials of others.
Here, in Latvia, medical tourism is gaining more popularity every year and the country has all the premises to become one of the top destinations.
While in the UK knee replacement surgery can cost around £10,000 – £15,000, the average price in Latvia is £4,500 – £5,500 without any hidden costs. This price includes all necessary consultations and assistance, the surgery and implant and thorough accompaniment during the whole stay at the hospital. The patient can also request rehabilitation in Riga for additional costs and the price greatly depends on the conditions of the patient. The flight price from the UK to Latvia is approximately £50 – £100 and the patient can obtain transfer to the hospital if needed.
With thoughtful preparation and a positive mind-set the patient will have a positive experience from the surgery and will get back to normal life in the blink of an eye!