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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Fear of hospital-acquired infections is driving NHS patients abroad for treatment

Superbug fear drives NHS patients abroad

Extract from the Evening Standard:

"Record numbers of Londoners are abandoning the NHS and travelling abroad for medical treatment.

About 22,000 people in the capital went overseas for surgery and dental treatment last year - a rise of nearly a quarter on 2006.

Fear over infection from superbugs is now a major reason for them opting to go private instead of receiving treatment on the NHS.

More than half of surgery patients said they were worried about contracting an infection such as MRSA in a British hospital. This comes a day after the Evening Standard revealed more than nine patients a week are dying from hospital acquired infections.

The findings are published today by research group Treatment Abroad from its international medical tourist survey.

Its report also highlights a growing lack of confidence in the NHS - nearly two thirds opted for overseas operations to avoid NHS waiting lists.

An estimated 100,000 people from Britain travelled abroad for surgery and dental treatment last year, including fertility treatment, knee operations and cosmetic surgery. This compares with 70,000 in 2006."

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