York University has recently undertaken research in to the potential effects of Brits travelling abroad for cheaper medical procedures.

These include areas of treatment that aren’t currently covered by the NHS, or have reduced availability or, alternatively, are available but at a higher cost than in some other countries. The researchers took in to account dentistry, cosmetic surgery including treatments such as Botox, bariatic (weight loss) surgery and fertility services.

They reached the conclusion that so-called ‘medical tourism’ should be considered risky and potentially unsafe, and that as it currently stands patients were not aware of all the risks involved.

The main motivating factors for people electing for treatment abroad were positive recommendations from friends and family, and the often far cheaper price than the equivalent procedure in the UK. The potential repercussions of such trips did not seem to figure as heavily in decision-making.

The researchers also recommended that GPs need to play a larger role in educating patients as to the risks associated with travelling abroad for medical procedures.

63,000 UK patients travel abroad for medical treatment each year, with many unaware of where they stand should things go wrong. It’s likely that they will have no redress or legal protection within the country they have travelled to and will instead have to travel back to the UK and undergo potentially very expensive corrective treatment.

Cosmetic Courses offer expert aesthetic training to medical professionals from around the world. Contact the team on 01844 390110 or email [email protected] for information on our current course programme.