Sidmouth lawyer to help study medical tourism

A Sidmouth lawyer has been appointed to the advisory group for a major government-funded study into medical tourism Laurence Vick, partner at Exeter based Michelmores, has been invited by the National Institute for Health Research to work on research into the implications of inward and outward medical tourism for the NHS.

Vick, born in 1952, is head of the Michelmores’ clinical negligence team, and is nationally acknowledged for representing the 300 families at the Bristol Royal Infirmary Public Inquiry into children who died or suffered brain damage during paediatric cardiac surgery.

He is also a leading legal expert on the law and jurisdictional issues surrounding medical tourism and overseas medical treatment.

The purpose of the University of York led study is to explore this issue, which occurs when individuals pay out of pocket expenses and travel across national boundaries to receive health care treatments.

They want to find out the impact of this on the NHS, when people either come to Britain or travel abroad for dentistry, cosmetic surgery, elective procedures like hip or joint replacements, and fertility treatment.

Laurence said: “This is an important study into a fast growing and little understood sector. We need to weigh the benefits of medical tourism for both patients and providers against patient safety while establishing liability if things go wrong and this includes the role of intermediaries.”