Ellen Parry, a 59 year old British grandmother is all praise for the healthcare facilities available in India after undergoing a surgery in the Indian city of Bangalore. The surgery at the Ramaiah Memorial Hospital has cured her of a painful back. Parry came to India for treatment, as she was unable to get the treatment on the UK's National Health Service (NHS). The surgery in Bangalore cost her 5,000 pounds. The NHS in the UK has come under criticism for not having treated Parry.
Plaid Cymru parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd said the case highlighted the problems in the NHS.
'They talk in terms of India being a third world country, but I am afraid when it comes to health, this country (the UK) in many aspects has become third rate in caring for people. This is a savage indictment of a health service in decline,' he said.
Parry was told by a clinic at Ysbyty Gwynedd there was nothing they could do for her. She paid 480 pounds for a private MRI scan in Bangor, which revealed she suffered from a collapsed disc in the lower back.
Parry said after a more than a year of severe pain, her husband Keith read about the private treatment available in India. She flew out a few weeks later.
Parry runs a garage with her husband in Glan Conwy in North Wales. She said that after her successful operation in Bangalore, she was given VIP treatment. She said: 'It is absolutely fantastic, I just cannot get used to not being in pain anymore.'
Parry's back troubles began two-and-a half-years ago. 'I didn't have any problems before,' she said. I was referred to the pain clinic at Ysbyty Gwynedd but was told nothing could be done.
I thought it could have been arthritis or simply wear and tear, so I decided to go private and paid pounds 480 for an MRI scan which showed I had a collapsed disc in the lower back.
'That was in the summer of 2004. After that nothing really happened, but the pain became worse. I was never offered any operation on the NHS.'
The Parrys then got in touch with a medical company in Warwickshire that arranges for medical treatment in India.
We sent them a copy of the scan and they referred my case to surgeons at the Ramaiah Memorial hospital in Bangalore. I was in e-mail contact with neuro-surgeon Dr Ravi Varma at the hospital.
Everything was set up, even the direct British Airways flights from Heathrow to Bangalore. We were met by representatives from the hospital and were shown to a VIP suite. It was simply five-star luxury.
The operation was carried out by Dr. Varma and his father who is a renowned surgeon in India on 6 November 2005, five days after we arrived.
'They were absolutely superb. They have the best equipment. I woke up with no pain, she said.