The English patient saves Calais

Why not seeking treatment abroad? It can prevent from waiting for months to see a doctor!

In order to relieve its services, the NHS (British National Health service) decided to have its patients treated in France. As a consequence, a convention was signed at the beginning of January 2016 to enable the hospital of Calais to receive British patients. The treatment must be paid by the NHS.


This partnership is also beneficial for the hospital of Calais which has not enough patients. According to its spokesperson, the idea is”to increase the economic activity again: the aim is to receive 300 to 400 patients a year in the end, which may result in one extra million Euro a year”.


This win-win partnership seems to be a great idea. The main drawback is that the transportation fees shall be borne by the patients.


calais art

But how comes that this hospital struggles to get patients? With the “Jungle” camp nearby, there is no shortage of sick people. Scabies epidemics, infections, abscesses, etc. have been reported due to the poor hygienic conditions.


It is true that assisting refugees is less lucrative than medical tourism. As a matter of fact, in general, they can’t afford the treatment fees and don’t have health-care coverage. And the 200 million euros investments in the hospital center need to be made profitable!


So the refugees often have to rely on the free medical Center (PASS) set up for them. Open 2 or 3 hours a day, it is overcrowded and patients can’t be received for more than few minutes.


Even if the Director of the hospital declares that “no one can refuse to treat a patient just because he or she can’t pay”, it is obvious that the treatment would not be the same!