UK expats turn to overseas medical care as NHS collapses

Published:  26 Mar at 6 PM
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Expats across the world are increasingly turning to their local hospitals for medical treatment, in spite of language issues and a lack of family support.

International health insurance companies are confirming the trend and saying it’s down to the serious decline of state medical services in the UK. Rafts of NHS scandals hit the media almost daily, with the Mid-Staffordshire ‘care void’ being accused of causing the premature death of thousands of older patients over the years.

Deadly infections caused by MRSA and Clostridium difficile bugs are at an all-time high, and those facing emergency Friday operations are 40 per cent more at risk if complications set in as senior doctors and surgeons don’t work on weekends. Extended waiting times, misdiagnosis, overseas-trained doctors with insufficient English, poor nursing and several weeks’ wait to see even the local GP have reduced Britain’s pride and joy to a horror story.

Cancer and stroke survival rates are poorer by far than in most first-world countries, in spite of half-hearted governmental efforts to reverse the trend. Due to the UK’s ageing population, demands for primary care are due to increase still further, and the rising costs of new drugs is causing a medical lottery outside London.

Little wonder, then, that expats in EU countries, the USA, Commonwealth countries and even Asia are looking at local provisions and finding that, even at budget level away from the pricey private hospitals, care and treatment is superior to that in the UK. Even the standard of public hospital wards and nursing staff outside the UK are more often an improvement on those offered by the NHS.
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