Health tourism: Have your eyes done, then see the fjords
‘Just a note to say thank you so so much for the wonderful treatment I received at Scanhealth. I was diagnosed with a cataract seven weeks ago and was told I would have to wait at least 12 months on the NHS even to be seen, with a further 4 to 5 month wait before I would have an operation.This was not an option as I am a 52 year old single mother with a full time job and I was virtually blind in my right eye.
I booked an appointment with a private consultant which cost me £110. He told me that I actually had cataracts in both eyes and that the type of cataracts I had would become worse very quickly so it was imperative that I was treated quickly. I was very upset but he made me feel that the only important thing was my money. When I went back to my GP she was not happy that my only option seemed to be to pay £4,000 or wait another 5 months and tried to persuade the consultant to prioritise me on the NHS. He refused to do so.
I had already looked at going abroad and the day after I had seen the consultant in Cardiff, I spoke to Dr Gundersen at Scanhealth. He was so wonderfully kind on the phone and explained so many things to me. He made me feel completely safe and I knew then that this was the man I wanted to look after my eyes.
Within a few weeks I was on my way to Norway. The flight is only 90 minutes from the UK, the hotel is only 20 minutes from Haugesund airport and the clinic is a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
I had the most amazing time there. Not only was it cheaper than the UK but every member of staff I dealt with was so so kind. Dr Gundersen was wonderful, I felt 150% safe in his hands. I will never forget the staff at Scanhealth and would like to thank everyone for all their kindness and help. Dr Gundersen gave me back my sight and will always be my hero.
If I ever have to have private treatment again I would definitely go back to Scanhealth and would recommend it to anyone.
“I can’t believe my luck”
Cataracts left Paul Cooper nearly blind on one eye. He was about to lose months of income, when he stumbled across ScanHealth. Days later he was back in business.
Text: Tina Helen Aasen, London– No pains or problems, just an incredibly fast and friendly service.
This is how self employed Paul Cooper (43) sums up his experience with Norwegian ScanHealth.
The carpenter from Reading in South England found himself in a crisis when he suddenly got cataracts in his right eye. Within less than two weeks, Paul had lost 80 percent of the sight on the eye, and he had to stop working.
- I have a young family who’s dependent on my income. My sight was cloudy; I found it hard to drive and to perform specialised tasks at work. It was very difficult, says Paul.
He needed an operation fast, but the British NHS couldn’t offer him any help before 1-3 months at the earliest. He checked out private surgeries, but the waiting list was still around six weeks – and the treatment was very costly. Paul feared he’d lose months of income, until he stumbled across ScanHealths website on the Internet.
- I called on a Thursday and had my operation the following Tuesday. I couldn’t believe it, I’m still shocked at how quick and easy I could get the operation abroad, says the father of three.
Paul admits he was apprehensive before the trip, but his worries soon faded.
– The whole experience was really perfect – I can’t fault it at all. The doctor explained everything clearly and I learned so much about my eyes, says Paul.
The operation itself took only ten minutes, and was done under local eye drop anaesthetic. An hour later his sight had gone up from 20 to 60 percent, and soon after it was back to normal. He was fit to drive and able to have a look around the local town centre.
- I was a little bit worried about the cabin pressure on the flight back, but the operation made no difference at all. The flight to Haugesund is only 90 minutes, and I was back in the UK two days after my surgery, says Paul.
He could have started work straight away, but took the Friday off and was back in business the following Monday. Surprisingly the eye-operation was less costly with ScanHealth than with private clinics in the UK, even including flights and hotel accommodation. This is despite Norway being one of the world’s most expensive countries, with a very high standard of living. The ScanHealth hospital performs surgeries two days a week, with 18 operations each day. The general rule is three patients per hour. Both eyes can be operated on at the same time, though it is recommended to wait a couple of weeks between the operations.
- The people in Haugesund were very friendly and helpful. It’s a shame I didn’t have more time to look around the coastal area, concludes the happy brit.
Now when he’s got his sight back on both eyes, he is considering a weekend trip to explore the wild nature of the breezy Norwegian West Coast.
- It would be lovely to go back. I may even be forced to, as there is a chance I could get cataracts in my left eye as well. At least now I’ll know exactly where to turn, says Paul.
London, England 10/07/08
Hi, I would like to take this opportunity to give sincere thanks and gratitude to all of the staff at Scanhealth who I found exceptional.
From the minute I decided to proceed with an MRI scan and subsequent ACL reconstruction, everything was so professional and so simple. The flight was short, transfer to the hotel was quick and easy, and the hospital itself even closer.
The whole experience completely exceeded my expectations. I found the surgeon, his staff and all of the people that helped me along the way to be in a totally different league.
This is definitely the best decision I’ve ever made and I would encourage anybody considering Scanhealth to look no further and put an end to your injury and NHS nightmare. I would be more than happy to speak to anybody who is considering treatment and answer any questions or concerns.
Daryl Carr, Norfolk, England 20/09/07
«A first class clinic with first class results for us»
My husband and I contacted Scanhealth Scandinavia in December 2006 after seeing their site on the internet. We had been trying to conceived for over 3 years and had been told that the waiting list for private treatment within the UK was 2 ½ years minimum. We emailed the clinic our details and received a phonecall the following day and spoke to Jon. We were given all the information we needed and booked an appointment for later that month and flew out to Norway. We were overwhelmed by the sensitivity and support we received in our first appointment and were made to feel very at ease at the clinic. Jon was very honest with us from the start about our infertility problems and helped us plan the next step to achieving our dreams. We returned to the clinic in early February 2007 and underwent IVF ICSI treatment. I was very nervous about the whole procedure and Jon and Elise could not have put me more at ease throughout each step of the way. The rapport we built made all the difference in making us both feel relaxed and positive about our treatment. I am now 4 months pregnant with twins and cannot thank the IVF & Fertility Center at Scanhealth and its staff enough for their help and support and professionalism in making our dream come true. I would wholeheartedly recommend the clinic to anyone considering IVF treatment. The clinic itself provides a clean and modern yet comfortable and inviting atmosphere and the staff are second to none. A first class clinic with first class results for us.
Dear all at Scanhealth,
At last a rather overdue note to thank you all for the superb treatment I had at your hospital in Norway when I came in January for a total knee replacement.
From the moment I walked into the hospital with its shining wooden floors and welcoming reception area, and met with Mr Rossebo, I knew that I was in good hands. I had gone privately to see a consultant in the UK but he had not examined my knee joint with anything like the same thoroughness as Mr Rossebo.
The surgery itself was painless. I had been very nervous at the prospect of spinal anaesthesia but the sedation made me very sleepy and I was largely unaware of what was going on. Everyone seemed so professional and the place was so spotless that it was a relief to have no worries regarding possible infection.
Following my operation, I cannot speak highly enough of the care I received from the nursing staff. They were so kind and cheerful and went out of their way to see that I was as comfortable as possible and wanted for nothing. Nigel and I returned home impressed by how friendly and hospitable the Norwegian people are.
The food was superb. Sadly, my lack of appetite post-surgery meant that I was unable to fully appreciate it, but Nigel certainly did! I was also very impressed by the physiotherapy facilities, and although the sessions were often very uncomfortable, Cathrine, the physioterroist’s, cheerful and enthusiastic nature was the inspiration I needed to succeed in bending my knee joint further, and further, to the required 90 degrees.
The whole experience was great, and although it is a longish road to full recovery, I am now free of the agonising pain which was keeping me awake most nights before my knee surgery. If I had the choice to make again, of going abroad for orthopaedic surgery, I would choose Scanhealth. You are a wonderful team of people and I wish you all the very best for the future!
Fiona Dods, 12/3/07