Surgery abroad could cut waiting lists

by Ray Dunne ,  BBC | 2003-10-03

A pensioner in Kent is among the first in the country to use a High Court ruling to demand treatment overseas.

Robert Towner, 67, who lives near Tunbridge Wells, was told this week that he could wait up to a year for a hip operation on the NHS.

But Mr Towner is refusing to wait and has demanded that his health authority pay for him to have surgery abroad.

The High Court ruled on Wednesday that NHS patients suffering "undue delay" could go abroad for treatment.

Overseas surgery

Mr Justice Mumby failed to spell out at what point patients could go abroad for treatment.

However, he rejected government claims that only those who wait longer than the NHS target of 12 months are eligible.



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