The Potential Impact of Brexit on Cosmetic Surgery

Posted on 17 August 2016
Almost two months on from the UK’s EU referendum result, many of us are still wondering where Brexit will take us. The Pound to Euro exchange rate has taken a nosedive, LowCostHolidays has gone into administration, and already, banks are beginning to move their operations out of Britain.

It’s likely that most industries will be affected by Brexit, either positively or negatively, and only time will tell which and how. For cosmetic surgery, there are two aspects to consider – NHS surgery and private surgery.

With regards to NHS-funded cosmetic surgery, which is normally limited to reconstructive procedures and operations that are required for psychological or health reasons, it’s possible that UK patients will benefit from Brexit. If EU citizens no longer have a right to claim free treatment on the NHS, there could be more money in the pot for British residents, and the tight qualification criteria associated with NHS-funded plastic surgery might be relaxed. However, if the EU ceases contributing to the National Health Service, the net effect means that we could be worse off.

So far, the costs of procedures that are funded privately and performed in the UK have yet to see any impact from Brexit. However, people who choose to undergo surgery abroad may well be worried by rising prices. Holiday operators have been reporting dwindling profits ever since terrorist attacks affected previously popular vacation destinations such as Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, and Paris and caused a decline in bookings. And, because the Pound is down against the Euro, foreign holidays have become costlier for Britons as our money doesn’t go as far when we’re away. As many of us are concerned about the potential for utility bills, food, and basic household goods to rise, we’re preparing to tighten our belts and potentially forego our annual vacations aboard.

Of course, everyone deserves a holiday, and with the washout summer we’ve experienced in the UK this year, we could all use some sun. However, if you’re still tempted by the thought of undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad, we urge you to think again. Whether the UK is in or out of the EU, it’s still risky to go under the knife in a foreign country, and if post-operative complications arise, things can quickly go from bad to worse. You can find out more about why it’s safer to undergo cosmetic surgery in the UK in one of our previous blog posts.

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