Dental clinics in Lithuania reported an increase in patients from Britain getting part of the treatment costs reimbursed by the NHS. The British National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare of which the vast majority are free at the point of use for people legally resident in the United Kingdom. Patients elect to travel abroad where there are no excessive waiting lists.
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Alistair Day-Stirrat, the British director at Odontika Implantology and Digital Dentistry clinic in Vilnius, points out: “Some treatments are not covered by the NHS, only in rare instances will patients get the costs of dental implants covered. So many people travel abroad. Its only logical they have all the treatment done in one place. Treatments where they can get NHS reimbursement and purely private treatment. Therefore, we provide detailed treatment plans and can help patients with filling in their applications for reimbursement of those treatments available on the NHS.”

Waiting lists in England and Wales are reportedly at a six-year highs. Waiting many months to see a specialist increases the likelihood of complications resulting from late diagnosis and illnesses developing further. “Delaying minor dental treatment like fillings results in further costs to the NHS. Very quickly that tooth might need a crown, or worst still, an extraction and bridge. The problem is only compounded,” Day-Stirrat says.

Considering there are many thousands of Lithuanians resident in the UK and entitled to British NHS cover, it might come as a surprise that, according to Day-Stirrat, the majority of patients receiving reimbursements are British nationals.

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