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Monday, 17 February, 2003, 21:02 GMT
Doctors fly in to cut waiting lists
Eye surgeon
Matthias Baerwolff performed 24 operations in two days
Patients have begun benefiting from an initiative to bring down waiting lists at an Essex hospital.

Teams of doctors and surgeons are being flown in from Germany to work for the NHS on their days off.

Matthias Baerwolff, an eye surgeon from Hamburg, was at the Essex County Hospital in Colchester all weekend performing cataract operations.

The bill for the weekend's work is around 13,000.

Waiting times

"This situation is present in other countires as well," he said.

"The solution of asking foreign dotors to come over here is quite a good one."

Some of his 24 patients had been waiting for more than a year for surgery.

The initiative should knock 1,000 people off the waiting list and reduce waiting times to six months.

Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust will pay 1.5m for weekend eye operations over the next nine months.

Spokesman Bill Shields said buying in help from three German surgeons was cheaper by 1,000 than buying into the private sector in this country.


Click here to go to Essex
See also:

28 Jul 02 | Health
22 Feb 02 | Health
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