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Migrants ‘go home for medical needs’


The north-east of Scotland is now the fastest-growing destination in
the UK for migrant workers but many return home for medical
treatment because it is quicker and better, according to a new

The study reveals that the majority of migrant workers who have
experienced health care systems in Scotland perceive the medical
services in their own countries to be generally of better quality.

"There was an expectation that they would be able to see a doctor
without delay when they needed and that doctors would be more
thorough in their examination," says the report which was
commissioned by Communities Scotland, Aberdeen; Aberdeenshire and
Moray councils; Scottish Enterprise and Grampian and NHS Grampian to
identify ways in which public agencies in the area might improve
their response to migrant workers.

It says that waiting times to access GP services and difficulties
accessing dental care are not issues peculiar to migrant workers,
but are faced by the population as a whole.

Most migrants from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia preferred to return home
for treatment of non-acute medical problems, as well as dental care
and visits to opticians.

Re: Migrants ‘go home for medical needs’

Strange the don't mention that one reason they have treatment done back at home is the fact that most of them don't speak English! And that dentists and opticians are much cheaper in Easteren Europe.

Re: Migrants ‘go home for medical needs’

I think on a recent thread several people confirmed that dentists in Poland are very good. This was something I was not aware of.

Someone I work with goes back to Warsaw to have medical treatment for minor ailments. She has lived here for years and speaks perfect English. I know various older ladies (my mum included) who go to Poland for treatment at the Sanitoriums they have. You can go there for weeks at a time and they apparently have qualified doctors and nurses on site. My own view is that I don't trust Polish doctors. I like to have a say in my treatment and understand anything they are doing and I think their manner is too high handed and arrogant. Maybe that is changing but that has been my impression in the past with Polish GPs over here.

The only reason opticians are so expensive here is because they make huge margins. I think the last time I had a complete set of glasses last year they cost over £300. They used to cost very little in Poland but I've no idea how much they cost now. Most of that cost was the lens itself because I wanted thin ones, but I would be interested to know how much the extra thin lenses are in Poland. You must be able to get all the latest technology there now. The other bugbear I have with opticians here are contact lenses. I have such a struggle trying to get toric lenses in the UK. I have a feeling astigmatism is more common in Poland and maybe they have caught onto the idea of soft contacts these days. I have to have contacts specially made as my vision is slightly off by half a degree in the disposable ones. The opticians try to con you into getting the disposable packages (on which they make loads of money) or into thinking you have to get new permanent ones every year which is nonsense - I had a pair of soft lenses for 8 years and there was nothing wrong with them but my prescription changed. It's all a money making machine with the big chains touting for business.

Personally I prefer having my eyes tested in the UK. Vision express do an excellent very comprehensive test. They even picked up a tiny spot of scar tissue in my retina (luckily outside my peripheral vision) and immediately referred me to an eye specialist.

I had a terrible experience having my eyes tested in Poland in 1991. The very officious "Pani Doktorka" optician put what I think is deadly nightshade (belladonna) in my eyes to dilate the pupils. She did not tell me she was going to do this and it stung terribly and I was really upset. I've had this in the UK at the eye hospital but they warned me they were doing it and told me of the effects (blurred vision which lasts a few hours).

I'd imagine that Poland is good for diagnostics. I mean if you are feeling sick and are on a waiting list to be seen in the UK then if you speak Polish you might as well get seen privately in Poland. They have a different attitude to diagnosis there. I think they look at the whole body more than in the UK, where nobody seems to see the bigger picture. Most of the problem in UK healthcare is getting to the point where the doctor knows what's wrong. The treatment you get in the uK is excellent, diagnostics are not.

Perhaps others have had better experiences in Poland?

Re: Migrants ‘go home for medical needs’

My Polish dentist is very professional and speaks three languages fluently.

Re: Migrants ‘go home for medical needs’

But can you speak Polish with his fist in your mouth?? Ahhhh-hhh