Phil Jones
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NHS patient Phil Jones waited 15 months for op

Welsh patients may be waiting months for NHS operations, unaware they could get the health service to pay for quicker treatment in Europe.

Under European law, patients who are clinically eligible for NHS treatment can seek it in other EU countries.

They can also reclaim costs of up to what the NHS would have spent.

But fewer than 30 patients in Wales have made such applications during the past three years, BBC Wales has found.

There are concerns that patients and even some medical professionals are not aware of the rules.

Retired Phil Jones from Ammanford in Carmarthenshire started to look overseas for treatment but eventually had it done in the UK after a 15-month-wait.

He told BBC Wales health correspondent Owain Clarke no one informed him he could have gone abroad and had the operation done sooner and potentially reclaimed the bulk of cost on the Welsh NHS.

  • 07 Oct 2014