Another British patient has succeeded in recouping the cost of treatment abroad from the NHS.
Ann Belshaw of Suffolk took the Suffolk Primary Care Trust to court to pay for a scan at a private clinic in Germany. The NHS originally told her that she would have to wait a year for a scan on her back at the Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.
A three-year legal battle then ensued to force her local NHS Health Trust to pay for her private treatment abroad. The Trust has now agreed to pay the £350 cost of the scan and Mrs Belshaw’s legal costs , just as the the case was to go before London’s High Court. Had it gone to the High Court, there is little doubt that the European Court of Justice ruling on cross border treatment (the Yvonne Watts case) would have applied.
This legal precedent combined with the forthcoming EU proposals on cross-border healthcare could lead to significant growth in medical tourism from the UK.