'We flew into Frankfurt and were treated like royalty. The next day I had my operation'


The triple bypass

William Budge, 82, retired farmer from Barnstaple, North Devon

I had severe pain in my right arm a couple of years ago. Doctors first said it was just arthritis. But when I then had severe pain across my chest, I was told that I needed a triple bypass. I was told that I needed to have it within three months, or else I wouldn't survive. At the same time, I was told the waiting list was a minimum of six months. In effect, I was condemned to die. After a chance meeting with a lady in a hospital car park, I was told that I could get the operation done overseas. Very soon, I arranged to have it done in Germany. We flew into Frankfurt, were met by a hospital liaison officer and were treated like royalty. The very next day I had my operation. The German doctors said they wouldn't accept the British doctor's diagnosis, and said that in fact it was a lot moreserious and urgent than I had been told. After the operation, I had to stay in the hospital for a few weeks to aid my recovery, my age was a factor in this. Overall my treatment in the hospital was just brilliant: the cleanliness was unbelievable, the staff were polite, and the actual medical treatment was effective. In England I was told that the operation would cost a minimum of 20,000, but could cost up to 40,000. The whole package for treatment in Germany cost only 15,000. I'd recommend the overseas treatment to anyone.

The hip

Ronald Burlingham, 76, retired teacher from Southampton

Half way through last year, I realised my hip was simply worn out from years of jogging on hard surfaces. I had been limping about, so went to my doctor for an X-ray and diagnosis.

Initially I explored NHS options and was told it would be three or four months before a consultant could see me, let alone put me on a waiting list. But my wife and I thought to ourselves, we're not getting any younger, and should therefore look at private health care something we'd have never considered before.

I soon discovered a company called Direct Healthcare International. They were polite and helpful, giving me a lot of information about where I could go and what I could do. They recommended particular places based in a number of countries, based on their record of success, and showed me the CVs of the doctors who would treat me.

I flew to Brussels, had a totally successful operation, and the whole package, including flights and accommodation, cost me 7,000. In the UK, the operation alone would have cost 10,000. What's more I was given a week of physio in Brussels, and my wife was allowed to accompany me throughout. The thought of private health care was anathema to me for a long time. But when you're forced into it, and you're then thinking about whether or not to stay in the UK, if you're saving 3,000 then the argument is over before it's even begun.

Direct Healthcare International were so good they even rang me up to tell me they'd overcharged me for my flight to Brussels, and sent me a case of wine in recompense.

Dental work

Lynne Huckins, 56, Community Support Officer, Portland, Dorset

I had major trouble with my gums, and my dentist said he would have to take all my teeth out. I was quoted figures ranging between 10,000 and 15,000.

On the internet, I read about Vital Europe, the firm I eventually went to Hungary with. They said I could have a 50 consultation in Harley Street to diagnose my gums, but I'd get the 50 back if I had the treatment.

The consultation, unlike the NHS, was very positive: I was told caps and bridges would do the trick. I was given a dental plan, paid 6,000, and went to Hungary twice; first for 10 days and then, six months later, for a fortnight. I was given a personal co-ordinator, and the cost covered all travel, hotel bookings, and transport.

The end result is absolutely fantastic. My health and peace of mind has improved massively. I don't blame the NHS for not treating me, because they haven't got the funds. But for anyone going private, I'd say look overseas first.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

    Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

    Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

    Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

    £50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

    Day In a Page

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices