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British pensioner forced to return to UK for knee op
09 March 2012 @ 16:15

A BRITISH pensioner is being forced to return to the UK for knee surgery after waiting almost a year in Spain.

Ian Dennis, 74, who lives in Casarabonela, has no cartilage between the lower and upper part of his leg and cannot walk without the aid of crutches.

He was told by specialists in April 2011 he needed a double knee replacement, and was assured he would be seen within six months at the Virgen de la Victoria Hospital in Malaga.

Nine months later however, in January 2012, Belfast-born Dennis was still waiting – and to his horror was told his op would be delayed by another six to nine months.

“It’s so frustrating,” said Dennis, who can only sleep dosed up on painkillers.

“After all that time waiting, they said it is going to be at least another six months.”

Read more at theolivepress.es



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17 Comments

Spaindave said:
10 March 2012 @ 09:35

Why is he moaning about this? Why does he expect the Spanish health service to to carry out these operations? Is he Spanish?..NO! He is an Irish United Kingdom citizen by birth and by nationality. I bet that he gets his pension sent from Britain to Spain. If he wants to enjoy all that Spain offers, the lifestyle and the sun, he should become a Spanish National and give up his United Kingdom citizenship (and pension). Note that I define him not as British but as Irish UK, think about that!
P.S. I am 72 and I am British, living in England, and I am currently waiting for a knee replacement operation. I understand his pain, but "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen"


Robert said:
10 March 2012 @ 10:42

I hope Spaindave gets his knee operation soon - and while they are at it - maybe they could give him a brain transplant as well - any old brain would do as anything would be better than the one he has now


haydngj said:
10 March 2012 @ 11:05

how awful the 2 comments, racist and insulting from bob and dave. the poor man is just as entitled to the health service as the two idiots bob and dave. he has paid into the service just as much as they have


Pamela said:
10 March 2012 @ 11:18

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but why is there always, always, someone to write nasty comments on any subject that is of normal interest to others. there are many comments that could be made but looks as if whichever country you are in the waiting is the same, wish you both luck.


meg said:
10 March 2012 @ 11:25

I agree with haydngj that the 2 previous comments are nasty and
racist, if ian is living and legally registered as a resident in spain he has the same rights as a spaniard to have his op. I have just had an op on my knee and waited 9 months and cannot praise the spanish health service enough. a friend of mine living in england had the same op a couple of months ago and he waited 23 months for his op.


gazzer said:
10 March 2012 @ 14:12

Hmmm! Not sure if Ian has checked the situation with getting an Op. done in the UK just like that. I think you have to be registered with a doctor in the Uk for 6 months before they will treat you for a routine repair. Unless of course you are not of those shores and can claim summat or other but you will still go on a list.

Robert has a point: when booking anything online we are UK by nationality now, not GB or British. It is the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland that makes up Great Britain. What will we become when Scotland leave?


Spaindave said:
10 March 2012 @ 16:47

GAZZER, you should know your facts before criticising, you are wrong when you say that United Kingdom and Northern Ireland make up Great Britain. It is in fact Great Britain and Northern Ireland that make up the United Kingdom.
I thought, when I very deliberately made my considered comments, that some ignorant people would start waving the race card and trying to demonise me by branding me a racist. OK you are entitled to your own opinion, but if you actually read and understood what I was actually saying, you would realise that the meaning of my comments was that if you are living in an "adopted" country you should be able to accept and live within that society and the rules and restrictions therein. If you do not like the situation there you should return permanently to your country of birth where you are a national citizen. You should not try to cherry-pick the best of all worlds for your own convenience. As a point of order to you all, it was Ian himself who was suggesting a nationality based discrimination and victimisation (I will not stoop to saying racism!) when he made his complaints, inferring that the delay was because he was not Spanish. Incidentally I have to have both knees replaced but they will only do them one at a time in my local Hospital Trust, but I would never consider going to Spain, or elsewhere, to try to jump the queue, even though painkillers do not often allow me to sleep. I wish Ian all the best and hope that he is out of pain sooner rather than later.


Peter Goss said:
10 March 2012 @ 16:51

We live close to Baza in Spain and seven minutes from Baza Hospital, my wife is Dutch and I am English. I had my whole lift knee replaced just within six months,

I all have had a prostate operation within the time they told me, both operations one hundred percent.

My wife had a cataract operation on her eye within the time they told us; one hundred percent successful also regularly monitored for back pain and do what is necessary. Because of our age we are monitored each year for our health.

I am a little diabetic and prescribed two tablets a day by our doctor.

We had our own business which we ran from England and paid everything there including the NHS but 90% of the time we worked in other countries.

The big problem people have especially the British they can never fully let go of the line back to what they call (Home). Our home is where we make it.

Don’t come to Spain if you have to work, it is cheaper to living here but you still need money. My wife and daughter (Who does not live with us) are the linguist in our family but I can order a cup of coffee and pay the bill other than that I use hands and feet “If you know what I mean”

Forgot to tell you at the age of 24 I was diagnosed as 75% Dyslexic. The invention of the computer has made it possible to write this note.



David said:
10 March 2012 @ 17:54

I remember seeing this article in the London Standard.
I think it speaks volumes on the subject



"MPs angry over £1.6bn EU health tourism shortfall"


18 January 2012

Fears were raised today that the NHS is missing out on millions of pounds it is owed for tending foreign patients.

Health chiefs were urged to be tougher in chasing the cash after figures reveal Britain paid £1.7billion to treat its citizens in Europe in the past three years - but received just £125.3million for Europeans treated here.

Ministers said the £1.6billion discrepancy was down to the high number of UK pensioners who have retired to the Continent but MPs blamed health trusts for letting foreign nations off the hook.

They expressed concerns that accurate figures are not being kept after the Department of Health said it did not know how many "health tourists" had been treated free. Tory MP Dr Daniel Poulter, an ex-NHS hospital doctor who sits on the Commons health committee, said: "Nations in Europe are good at getting money back from Britain but our hospital management is very bad at getting money back from them and patients lose out. That must change."

Fellow Tory MP Jason McCartney said: "It is important that we recoup the costs in the same way that we pay for our nationals overseas."

Department of Health officials said it was "always likely" that the UK would pay far more than it receives because many British pensioners live abroad.

A spokesman added: "EU rules mean we must cover the cost of pensioners' healthcare, wherever they live in the EU. We'd pay for them if they lived in the UK or for example, Spain."



Mary said:
10 March 2012 @ 18:02

Rather sad thread. I guess Spain is like UK, some places have better health care than others. A few points, as a Ian is a UK pensioner, and in gets a pension from UK, the spanish Goverment will receive a monthly payment from the UK for healthcare here. If he does go back to UK he is entitled to care from day one as he is legally allowed to live in UK.
Some silly ill informed and some incorrect comments.
Poor moderation of this site is off putting.


Justin said:
10 March 2012 @ 18:26

Mary, everyone is entitled to their opinion whether we like it or not. We can't always just allow all the "nice" comments and remove the not so nice ones.


spaindave said:
11 March 2012 @ 00:16

I am still waiting for someone to explain what was "racist" about my comments. People are too ready to rant and rave about "racism" when they do not have a clue about what has actually been said. Do they actually know what "racism" is? The context of my comments was that people should accept the status quo in the country they choose to live in. What is racist about that?


mary said:
11 March 2012 @ 11:29



SpainDave how long have you been a Spanish citizen?

Justin as a longtime moderator of a worldwide expat sites I was not suggesting only "nice" comments were left merely that some replies go in for insult rather than replies to the topic of the thread
And as an aside, well off topic appears to be OK here, it does seem that the English language press here seek out the down side of living in Spain. Bad news sells papers eh! Maybe I should start a new thread on this?


Spaindave said:
11 March 2012 @ 12:34

Mary, I am NOT a Spanish citizen. I lived in Spain for 10 years (hence my nickname) and my youngest grandchild has been born in Spain to my son (who works there and helps to sustain the Spanish economy) and his Spanish fiancee. I have no bone to pick with Spanish, British, or any other nationality, but I think that too many expats moan too much. These moaners should appreciate what they are getting in their (half) adopted country, accept that there may be some shortcomings and if they don't like it they should go back to wherever they may call HOME. Yes I do feel that a new thread showing positive aspects of integrated expat life would help these moaners to see the brighter side of life and may shut up those people who run around raving about "racism". Incidentally, it would be interesting to know if the moaners actually do try to accept the Spanish way of life, learn the language properly so they can communicate with full understanding or if they simply live in their own little ghettos and conclaves mixing and speaking only with their fellow expats. Perhaps that could be a new thread? Who actually tries to become part of the country? mmmm!! Hope you have a nice day


royspan said:
11 March 2012 @ 14:52

Lets keep this one simple and leave out the emotional judgement call about the relative quality of the services, racism and prejudices:-

1) UK NHS rules allow immediate UK NHS cover to all residents.
It is "resident based" and "free at the point of need"

2) Spanish NHS cover is restrictive and conditional for immigrants.

If you are non Spanish origin and intend come to live in Spain, check out your Spanish NHS entitlement carefully.

If you are non UK origin or resident and intend to go to UK to reside, you will receive NHS cover from outset.


gazzer said:
12 March 2012 @ 21:39

Fundemental errors on my behalf:
After I posted about UK & NI and GB I realised I had it around the wrong way.
The 6 months waiting period was as a result of a local pensioner who has lived in rural Spain for nearly 20 years with her husband and speaks not a word of Spanish and refused treatment for her dodgy knees in Spain. She had opted for the UK but was told she had to be registered with a doctor in the UK before they would consider her being put on any list. But then I did only get that second hand.

As EU citizens we are entitled to all the benefits in each member state (with restrictions), some are better than others, you just need to cherry pick. Play the "EU Game of Life". I work 6 months in the UK (pay my tax and NI there) and laze by the pool the other 6 months in Spain.


karin said:
15 March 2012 @ 19:16

well even though he gets his pension check from the uk where he enjoys the sun, he spends his check in SPAIN-all his money gos there and so he should be taken care there as well. he worked all his life in the uk and now in his old days he choses to live and spend his evening in spain. this is europe and I think he should be able to choose where he is getting operated on. I live in spain and when I go to the dok here I pay for it. I work for an international company and pay my taxes in spain, because I live here, but I dont get any good treatment from these docs here-in fact

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