With medical tourism in full flow, new draft proposals
are being tabled to allow UK residents to avail cross border dental treatment
in the EU. The catch is that the bill would be sent to the NHS.
Most experts feel if this comes into force the National
Health Service will become a 'European Health Service'. A poll has also shown
that most NHS patients - 53% - are willing to travel within the EU to get
dental work done.
European Commission healthcare spokesman Nicholas Fahy
said the new plans may be made into a law in three years' time. Patients who
are fed up of waiting on the NHS may be able to claim treatment costs from the
NHS legally if the new measures come into force.
Minister Dawn Primarolo's reaction was mixed, "This is a draft directive. It's
far from clear that this will be the final version. We must do what we can to
protect the finances of the NHS and ensure that everyone has fair access to
treatment," she added.