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Patient finds cheaper knee replacement in France

12-Jun-2007

A growing number of people are travelling across the channel to France to seek treatment abroad.

NHS waiting lists and fears over hospital 'super-bugs' are leading many to abandon the UK's healthcare system and become part of the growing medical tourism trend.

Barbara Spalding, a 69-year-old former teacher from Suffolk, told the BBC that she decided to travel to a French hospital instead of facing a long wait for her two knee replacement operations.

Although she had considered private treatment in the UK, Ms Spalding discovered that she could save over £10,000 by seeking treatment abroad and, in the end, spent £13,000 on her treatment.

She told the BBC: "I felt so frustrated that I couldn't have it done on the NHS for so long that I decided to contact a French clinic.

"They told me they could fit me in the week after I called. They picked me up from my door and took me there."

France is an ideal destination for UK tourists wanting to escape NHS waiting lists, with Paris just a one hour flight from London.

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