'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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
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

    IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

    £65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

    PSHE Teacher - Cheshire West

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Teachers with a passion for PSHE neede...

    PSHE Teacher - Chester

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Teachers with a passion for PSHE neede...

    Humanities Teacher

    £85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits