Most satisfied with medical tourism

Medical tourism-the Brits love it. Mostly.

A new study released in the UK recently reveals the latest trends in travelling overseas for medical treatment, be it for health-related, dental, infertility, obesity or cosmetic treatment or surgery. More than 1,000 patients took part in the study, the largest of its kind in the UK and Europe.

Among the findings of the report are new statistics showing where people are going, what they’re having done, how much they’re saving and whether they’d do it again or recommend it to others.

Belgium was the most popular destination for those in the UK travelling overseas for treatment (16 per cent), followed by Hungary (16 per cent), Poland (10 per cent), Czech Republic (9 per cent) and Turkey (9 per cent).

Of the UK patients in the study, 32 per cent went abroad for dental treatment, which was the second-largest group after cosmetic surgery. Hungary was the most popular destination for dental treatment (chosen by 38 per cent of UK dental travellers) while Belgium was most popular for cosmetic surgery (18 per cent).

Nine out of ten respondents said they would definitely or probably go abroad for treatment again and the same number would recommend going abroad for treatment to a friend or relative. 84 per cent would go back to the same doctor, dentist or clinic.

51 per cent of respondents travelled to a country they had never been to before for their treatment.

Cost was cited by 83 per cent of participants as the most important reason for travelling abroad for treatment. Dental patients also cited the ability to combine treatment with a holiday while cosmetic surgery patients cited worries about hospital infection in the UK.

More than two thirds (67.2 per cent) said they did not require further treatment or follow up on returning home. Seven out of ten were contacted by their overseas clinician or clinic upon their return home, usually by email.

Commenting on the findings, Keith Pollard, Managing Director of the Treatment Abroad website which commissioned the survey, said he was surprised by some of the figures.

“I’ve been involved in the cosmetic surgery and medical sector for many years and have witnessed the rapid growth in travel overseas for surgery and treatment. I was surprised to see, however, exactly how much money people were saving by travelling abroad, and how satisfied they were with the experience,” he said.

“So often overseas treatment is portrayed as being a poor alternative to what is available in the UK and yet it’s clear from this survey that that is simply not true. The vast majority of people who go overseas for treatment are delighted with the not only with the experience and the levels of care but also with the results, be it medical or cosmetic – and that, for most people, is the most important thing – that they get the results they want and need.”

1,045 people took part in the survey, which was developed by, and the report prepared by, Barbara Stryjak of European Research Specialists. The survey was conducted online with participants recruited through and via clinics who promote their work through the site. For every participant, £1 was donated to the charity Smile Train, an international charity that provides cleft palate surgery to those in need.

55 per cent of participants were from the UK – figures quoted above are from UK respondents only wherever possible.

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