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What happens if you are the victim of negligent medical or dental treatment whilst travelling abroad? You might be an ex-pat living in a foreign country or travelling for work or on holiday. Or, perhaps you are one of the estimated 20 million people who are anticipated to travel to another country in 2019 for medical treatment.


Recent statistics have revealed that the number of people travelling abroad for medical treatment is estimated to increase by 25% this year. With the rising numbers of "medical tourists", we can expect a rise in claims for negligent medical or dental treatment abroad.

In the UK, more and more people are travelling abroad for medical treatment for a number of reasons such as long waiting lists, cosmetic surgery that is not covered by the NHS or for dental work due to a lack of NHS dentists.

Medical and dental professionals have a duty of care to their patients wherever in the world they are practising. This means that you may be entitled to claim compensation if you have suffered medical or dental negligence abroad.

You may be able to claim if you have suffered substandard treatment from doctors, surgeons, nurses, dentists, paramedics or any healthcare professional. The claim may lie against the individual healthcare professional or against a medical organisation or hospital trust.

What can I claim?

There are a number of different circumstances that could give rise to a medical or dental negligence claim. These include:-

  • Surgical error
  • Ineffective treatment for accident victims
  • Delayed or misdiagnosis
  • Incorrect treatment
  • Prescription errors
  • Infections acquired in hospitals during treatment

To be eligible for a claim, it is necessary to demonstrate that the standard of your care fell below what is expected of a reasonable, competent and skilful specialist, and, that their negligence was the cause of your suffering or any further suffering

How long do I have to claim?

This will depend on when the negligent treatment or care took place.

In Scotland, the time limit for making a claim is usually 3 years from the date of negligence or knowledge of any harm. However, some countries have much shorter time limits, for example, as short as 6-12 months. It is not always straightforward to determine the relevant time limit and it is therefore important that you contact a solicitor as soon as you become aware that you have suffered harm from potentially negligent medical or dental treatment.

How much is my claim worth?

The amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend upon the severity of your injuries or illness, for example, the extent to which any negligence has exacerbated or accelerated an existing condition.

In addition to your injuries themselves, you may also be entitled to claim compensation for other current and future losses, including:

  • Remedial medical/dental treatment or other medical expenses
  • Ongoing rehabilitation and care needs
  • Adaption/change to accommodation
  • Loss of earnings and associated benefits
  • Assistance provided by relatives
  • Disadvantage on open labour market
  • Occupational therapy and/or retraining
  • Travel costs
  • Psychological treatment

We can assist with obtaining compensation for all the loss and costs associated with any type of medical or dental negligence claim abroad.

How can we help?

Our specialist team understands that the effects of negligent medical or dental treatment can have a considerable impact on you. We will take the time to understand the circumstances of your case and the effects of how you have suffered and support you throughout the whole process.

To assess whether any healthcare professional was negligent and the extent of any potential negligence, we will engage with medical experts and obtain input from foreign lawyers to help you obtain compensation for any negligent care or treatment.

If you have suffered an injury and think that you may have a claim, please contact us on 0800 988 8082 to discuss the matter on or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our specialist team will get back to you right away.

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