NHS?

Old Apr 17th 2013, 4:07 am
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Default NHS?

My husband had a ruptured appendix back in February 2012 with haematoma's afterwards.

Before coming to NZ in July he was scanned and everything was confirmed as okay, unfortunately since then he has had an accident at work, a subsequent scan shows a tear in the scar tissue (a type of hernia).

ACC originally agreed to pay for the repair (day keyhole surgery), but have now withdrawn the offer due to reviewing the case and deciding the area was weak from the original surgery and that we cant prove the hernia was the result of the accident.

Question: My husband has been here since end July 2012, would he still be entitled to free NHS treatment if he went back to the UK. He saw a surgeon today (had to pay) and the cost to get it done here in NZ is over $15K (which we dont have) and to get it done otherwise could take years.

Having looked up the NHS website it says about free NHS and one of the entitlements says you are exempt to pay if :

You have not worked overseas for more than 5 years, and have lived for 10 years or more continuously at some point in the UK.

Both of which are obviously yes - what do you think about his chances of getting it done in the UK (a airline ticket is a lot less than |$15k).

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Old Apr 17th 2013, 4:51 am
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Default Re: NHS?

HHmm. Don't know. People in the MBTTUK forum may be better placed to answer this so maybe ask there also. Sounds bluddy painful.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 7:04 am
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Default Re: NHS?

Originally Posted by ellenarosemary View Post
Having looked up the NHS website it says about free NHS and one of the entitlements says you are exempt to pay if :

You have not worked overseas for more than 5 years, and have lived for 10 years or more continuously at some point in the UK.

Both of which are obviously yes - what do you think about his chances of getting it done in the UK (a airline ticket is a lot less than |$15k).

Even if he can get it in the UK for free, difficulty will be in the timing and may require more than one trip: assuming he would need to go there for initial consultation with a GP, who would refer him to a consultant or an outpatient appointment at some indeterminable length of time later and then further await admission for the op. Even getting an appointment for an op in either country is no guarantee that it will go ahead; it could be cancelled at the last minute if something more urgent comes up on the list etc.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 7:39 am
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Default Re: NHS?

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
Even getting an appointment for an op in either country is no guarantee that it will go ahead; it could be cancelled at the last minute if something more urgent comes up on the list etc.
... & surgery can be put back for months with cancellation after cancellation
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 7:56 am
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Default Re: NHS?

I had a hip replacement in the UK in 2009 and left the UK in 2010. At the time of the op I was advised to have subsequent yearly check ups. As i left and travelled for a bit before arriving here this hasn't happened. Im visiting the UK later this year though so I recently enquired about getting an appointment with my original NHS surgeon.

After some independent research of the rules, debate between the surgeon, my doctor and NHS Overseas Charging Team I got the following response.....

"You are correct in saying that someone who has lived in the UK for ten continuous years at some point and is now working overseas for a period of no longer than 5 years would be fully entitled to free NHS treatment, including elective treatment.

Please note, in all cases it is the duty of the hospital providing NHS treatment to assess if charges apply in line with Regulations and based on evidence provided by the patient. Therefore he may be asked to provide evidence of his ten years continuous residence and also that he has been working overseas for no longer than 5 years."

I would say the treatment could be done on the NHS but as detailed in the other posts you may need to be flexible to waiting lists, assessments, operations etc.

My old doctor in the UK has made the referral to the surgeon without me seeing him just through the email contact iv had with the surgery. Iv yet to have the appointment with the surgeon confirmed yet though but its been requested over the dates I will be in the UK.

And email to here detailing your situation may get a concrete answer to your question.... [email protected]

Or this link http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNH...-services.aspx

**edit** I should note I got knocked back from the surgeon and GP first on my initial request. It took getting the NHS overseas team involved before all relented, acknowledged the rules and agreed to the referral & treatment.

Last edited by madao; Apr 17th 2013 at 8:10 am.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: NHS?

Are you saying that you are not covered in NZ public hospital system for this operation or that you are covered but there is a long waiting list in NZ?

I expect the waiting list varies from place to place just like in UK and you should at least get yourself into the Kiwi public system pronto.

Either way I hope you find a solution soon - it must be very worrying- a cautionary tale to those wishing to emigrate who can't run to private Kiwi medical insurance when doing the figures.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: NHS?

My husbband is already on the NZ waiting list, but still hasnt got an appointment. - apparently the waiting list is about 2 years in this part of NZ.

With regard to private health care, he wouldnt have been covered anyway as it would have been classed as a pre-existing condition.

He's trying to get hold of the surgeon who did the original operation in the UK, currently without much success, but will keep trying to see if he will accept the letter from the consultant here as a referral.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: NHS?

Bear in mind that a cancellation may mean a wasted trip- NHS resources are stretched and emergencies often kick off an elective case. There will still be a wait list in the UK and a time gap between initial assessment by surgeon and getting up the wait list. If you know the surgeon referred to then it may be worth contacting their secretary and asking for wait list times. Consideration to risk of post operative complications and recovery time also is advisable.
Hope it gets sorted for you.
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Old Apr 19th 2013, 10:45 am
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Default Re: NHS?

Originally Posted by ellenarosemary View Post
With regard to private health care, he wouldnt have been covered anyway as it would have been classed as a pre-existing condition.
Yeah too true. I forget that our Corporate Expat employee cover allowed pre-existing stuff.
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Old Apr 19th 2013, 10:47 am
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Default Re: NHS?

'ACC originally agreed to pay for the repair (day keyhole surgery), but have now withdrawn the offer due to reviewing the case and deciding the area was weak from the original surgery and that we cant prove the hernia was the result of the accident.'

Probably worth fighting ACC on this....changing their minds is not very customer-friendly now is it? They can't prove that it wasn't the result of the accident so is that a reason not to pay up? Go to your MP with it.
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