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NHS having to ‘pick up pieces’ of medical tourism ‘boom’, say doctors

The NHS is having to provide emergency care to rising numbers of patients suffering serious complications following weight loss surgery and hair transplants abroad amid a “boom” in medical tourism, doctors have warned.

Medics said they were being left to “pick up the pieces” as more Britons seeking cheap operations overseas return with infections and other issues. In some cases, patients are dying as a result of botched surgeries performed in other countries.

Hospitals have even had to cancel elective procedures for patients because beds were being taken up by someone who needed an overseas procedure fixed.

There were also concerns over patients buying weight loss drugs, including Wegovy, abroad without receiving the necessary “wraparound” care, doctors said.

The British Medical Association’s annual meeting in Belfast heard there had been a “boom” in surgical tourism, which was “leading to a rise in serious post-surgery complications and deaths”.

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Source: The Guardian, 25 June 2024


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