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To be told to consider going to Prague?

(54 Posts)
phoenix Tue 22-Jan-19 18:40:14

Now, I've got nothing against Prague, I've never been but I'm sure it's perfectly delighful.

BUT I wasn't over chuffed to be advised to go there for my cataract surgery! shock

Went to the GP to ask if there was any way that the very long wait for the initial consultation appointment could be speeded up, as I'm getting bad eye strain, headaches and driving in anything less than good daylight is a worry.

My lovely GP was on holiday, so I had to see his partner. I had been told by others that she doesn't listen, this was born out by the fact that she asked me who my consultant was, errm, I have just told you that I am waiting for notification as to when the appointment IS, therefore I don't know who it is.

She then asked if I had considered going private. I asked how much that would be, she said around £3k.

I told her that I couldn't afford that.

She blithely replied "Well, you could go to Prague, it would only be about £2k there" !

I will NOT be taking an appointment with her again, and when I see my usual Doctor, will definitely mention her attitude!

agnurse Tue 22-Jan-19 18:44:18

From what I understand, health tourism is now becoming a big thing. In North America people tend to go to countries such as Mexico because it's cheaper and often faster to have procedures done. (I live in Canada so medically necessary surgeries and procedures are covered, but there's a wait list.) The only concern I have is whether the standard of care is the same, but I imagine this would be less of an issue in Prague as the Czech Republic is a more developed country.

Washerwoman Tue 22-Jan-19 19:07:43

A friend of mine is doing just this soon.I'm not sure I would be brave enough,although I dare say the medical care is every bit as good as here.She wasn't advised to at her NHS consultation,but knew someone else who had had cataracts and replacement lenses privately but couldn't afford it here.About 4k for both eyes plus flights and hotels.Approximately 3K cheaper.I read an article after she told me about someone whose eyes surgery had gone horriblywrong, but didn't like to say.However there is a risk to any surgery I guess.

Maggiemaybe Tue 22-Jan-19 19:12:20

Sounds decidedly dodgy to me, phoenix. She doesn’t coincidentally have a contact out there she could recommend, does she? hmm In any case, by the time you factor in transport, accommodation, insurance, aftercare (that presumably wouldn’t be covered by the NHS), is there much of a saving to be made? Fingers crossed your own GP will be more help.

BradfordLass72 Tue 22-Jan-19 19:16:05

I'm in the dark about this phoenix, not living in the UK but are you eligible to go to somewhere nearer where care is as good but wouldn't cost so much? Prague seems an awfully long way to go.

What a shame that the NHS has deteriorated so much that a 30 minute (tops) procedure should now have a waiting list of months, even for urgent cases like yours.

polyester57 Tue 22-Jan-19 19:19:18

Well, how about this then? I live in Prague, had eye cataract surgery in September at a local (Gemini) clinic and am perfectly fine and happy with the result.

Izabella Tue 22-Jan-19 19:30:12

phoenix are you a carer for anyone? That would put you up the list.

phoenix Tue 22-Jan-19 20:17:31

Thank you for the responses.

No, Izabella I am 60, work 3 full days a week and don't care for anyone (well, obviously I care about Mr P, but so far, apart from the odd reminder about the difference between the laundry basket and the floor, and the Christmas gift tag thing, he doesn't seem to need looking after, a swift kick up the bum maybe, but still in reasonable working order!)

phoenix Tue 22-Jan-19 20:23:17

polyester57 good to hear that your procedure went well.

I was in no way insinuating or implying that surgery in Prague would be anything less than excellent, but as I live in the UK, the costs of travel and surgery are not an option.

Beau Tue 22-Jan-19 21:00:58

My Czech Republic (now Czechia according to Only Connect last night ? ) friend went back to Prague for an op as she doesn't trust the NHS, so make of that what you will....
The safety aspect wouldn't worry me, I'd just rather have it done here so I would just wait I think. Some GP's are quite offhand about that type of thing now, I know.

Niobe Tue 22-Jan-19 22:10:50

phoenix never mind bloody Prague or not, why are you still driving if it's a 'worry' ? My husband was told he had a cataract starting to develop and has not touched the car since.

Beau Tue 22-Jan-19 22:28:29

I've had cataracts 'developing' in both eyes for more than 10 years but still safe to drive according to my optician. You have to have really bad cataracts before they will consider surgery.

cornergran Tue 22-Jan-19 22:38:37

Yes, we’ve both got cataracts ‘developing’ but are assured by our optician there is no problem with driving. Just having a cataract does not imply an issue, it depends on the stage. I’m not sure what to say about that GP Phoenix other than never see her again and I hope your usual GP has more sense.

phoenix Tue 22-Jan-19 23:35:13

Niobe I am perfectly safe to drive in good light, as stated in my OP, it is only when the light is poor and cars have their headlights on that I find what the optician referred to as the "starburst" effect to make me feel uncomfortable.

The cataract was noticed at my eye test in 2017, when I was told it was very slight and would probably take a long time to develop further. Unfortunately this proved to not be the case and it worsened enough in a year to the stage where I have had the referral.

The optician has said that I am fine to drive, but to avoid driving in the dark, which I do, even changing my work hours so that I drive the 2.5 miles in daylight.

To stop driving when being told that a cataract is "starting to develop" is a bit hasty, many people have very early stage cataracts and have no need for surgery for years.

Maggiemaybe Tue 22-Jan-19 23:52:24

Some people, including my own optician, are born with cataracts that may or may not develop over time.

I’ve been told that there’s no waiting list for the op in this area, but the cataracts have to develop to a certain stage before surgery will be considered. I did feel like asking to be put onto the waiting list when mine were first diagnosed, just in case they deteriorate quickly. smile

gmelon Wed 23-Jan-19 00:40:24

To answer the OP.
You are not being unreasonable.
She sounds as if brushing up on the bedside manner should be her next move.
Telling you to go elsewhere is hardly practical.
We expect to be treated in our familiar environment.

BlueBelle Wed 23-Jan-19 04:21:58

Well what if she’s not fobbing you off but is genuinely telling you the quickest route ?

grandmaz Wed 23-Jan-19 10:06:23

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't I read somewhere, quite recently, that there is an NHS hospital on the northern coast of France, fully staffed and with huge capacity to spare? Would it be worth asking to be referred there? It may not be that simple of course, but a jolly sight cheaper than having the job done privately and still in the hands of our NHS, which I imagine would make any local to you follow up, easier to arrange. Just did a little search and here's a link to the article which I read:

EmilyHarburn Wed 23-Jan-19 10:13:37

Phoenix your NHS commissioning team will have set out the criteria for coming to the top of the list for a cataract operation. Find it on the internet. Write your GP a letter showing how you match it and make an appointment with the right GP to discuss your letter. You should then find you are going through without any problem.

Harrydog50 Wed 23-Jan-19 10:19:13

Went to specsave for eye test found that cataract needed treatment sent to spamedica in local hospital from first eye test to operation was 5 weeks I live in wirral

trisher Wed 23-Jan-19 11:03:47

phoenix I did wonder why you would think going to Prague was 'unreasonable', but now I understand. I thought if there were long waiting lists at your local hospital you could go elsewhere, isn't this so anymore. I would go back when your GP is there and ask (and maybe complain about being sent to Prague).

phoenix Wed 23-Jan-19 11:31:12

Thank you for the responses.

In my area (North Devon) the wait for consultation is 5 months, then 20 weeks (another 5 months) for surgery.

There is one clinic that has a shorter wait, but they won't see me because I have COPD. Not sure what that has got to do with it as the procedure is done under local anaesthetic!

I will go back and see my usual GP once he is back.

The doctor I saw is not popular, I gather that quite a few patients have refused to see her!

Daisyboots Wed 23-Jan-19 11:37:05

Cataract operation on one eye is €2000 on Portugal. So you could have the op and have a holiday in Portugal at the same time. Several of my friends have had their cataract ops here and are very satisfied. So that doctor doesnt know everything. I would make an appointment with your doctor and see what he can do. As it has progressed quickly maybe you could now get seen more quickly. Both my husband and I have the start of a cararact in one eye and were told we could continue driving. Apparently wearing sunglasses when it is sunny can slow down the growth of cataracts especially in blue eyed people.

Blinko Wed 23-Jan-19 11:39:41

When my cataracts needed doing the waiting lists were out of sight, so I resorted to my nhs backup - that's Benenden. Costs a measly £10 a month and picks up non urgent cases the nhs can't do within a reasonable timescale. Hope this isn't classed as advertising....

Maggiemaybe Wed 23-Jan-19 11:51:48

Harrydog50, as I understand it in this area the opticians (I was told specifically Specsavers) are the ones who monitor cataracts on behalf of the NHS and decide when they are ripe for surgery, then you're sent in for it at the local hospital with, I'm told, no waiting list. Friends' experiences do seem to bear this out. Like trisher, I thought you could be referred to other NHS areas for treatment if they had capacity there.