'Poland beats NHS for hip replacement'

A SUFFOLK pensioner is looking forward to a new lease of life after he went to Poland for a hip replacement because he was fed up with the county's ailing health system.

A SUFFOLK pensioner is looking forward to a new lease of life after he went to Poland for a hip replacement because he was fed up with the county's ailing health system.

William Foreman, of Martlesham, returned on Sunday following a successful operation and three-week rehabilitation programme.

He had been having problems with his hip since 2000 and was originally scheduled for treatment at Ipswich Hospital in 2005 before being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

As a result the operation was cancelled until Mr Foreman was better but he was then told his name would have to return to the bottom of the waiting list.


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During this time the 66-year-old's hip had deteriorated further and he decided to contact his GP, who suggested he follow the example of two other patients and seek treatment abroad.

He said: “I met with a representative from a company who organise these types of trips and was very impressed so I jumped at the chance.”

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Mr Foreman said the total cost of the venture was £6,400 - a price he was happy to pay.

“That was door to door and included everything,” he said. “I know it's a lot but for me it was worth it because the operation has been a great success.

“Within two weeks of having the initial meeting with my GP I was in Poland and having the operation. Afterwards I was moved to a private ward and had rehabilitation sessions twice a day, one on one with a physiotherapist.

“I'm not saying they are better surgeons over there but I just think a lot of them have their hands tied because of our health system.

“I was in so much pain before and don't feel I was treated very nicely at all. Now, I'm looking forward to getting my quality of life back.

“I still have my own timber business in Framlingham so I'll be able to return to that and I might even start playing a little bit of golf.”

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said Mr Foreman would have been treated within the national waiting time standards had he not been undergoing tests for another medical condition.

“A procedure of this kind is quite serious and we would want to be sure the patient was well enough to have the best chance of recovery,” she said.

“Mr Foreman would have been treated within national waiting time standards, which at the time was six months, however because he was undergoing investigative tests for another health issue it meant he wasn't fit for surgery.”

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