Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Lame, The Halt, The Belgians...and

Europeans in line for medical treatment:

Three months ago, Howard Waterfield learned that he suffered from a life-threatening heart condition and would have to undergo surgery.

Faced with a prolonged wait on the National Health Service in the UK, Howard (54), from London, headed for Belgium where he successfully underwent an operation within days of arriving.

Howard, a father-of-three, is typical of a growing number of tourists from around Europe who are flocking to Belgium for treatment.

It is not just NHS waiting lists that are forcing British patients across the North Sea. The high cost of private care in the UK means that treatment in Belgium can be a real bargain, even with travel costs added on.

Of all the treatments available for foreigners through Belgium's 'surgery supermarket', cosmetic and cardio thoracic surgery are two of the hottest items on the shelves and attract increasing numbers of customers from all over Europe.

Prices in these areas are the cheapest in the EU and the standard of hospitals and operations is second to none.

....A spokesman for the British Cardiac Patients Association says that Belgium is already the first choice for British heart patients.

"We know of a man who had been waiting for months for a triple bypass in the UK. So he went to Belgium where the operation was carried out immediately and superbly," she said.

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