UK start-up targets health tourism

Pashynska originally started the company as an orthodox travel agency but soon realised she needed a unique selling point to stand out from the crowd.

“I come from the area and I know how experienced and highly-skilled the medical professionals are in Poland and Hungary,” she says. “I thought: why not help people find high-quality services that are up to the same standard in the UK but for a fraction of the price?”

Pashynska visits all the hospitals she recommends and also has a UK surgeon assess the medical staff and facilities. The medic also provides after-surgery care.

Allo Travel takes a cut of what clients pay the hospital. “It can be 5 per cent or 7 per cent,” Pashynska says. “It depends on the place and the cost of the treatment.”

The cost of treatment is much, much cheaper than in the UK. Pashynska claims a face and neck lift costs £5k in the UK but only £1,590 in Poland. It’s the most popular procedure for customers followed by liposuction and tummy tucks.    

There are plenty of horror stories about people who go abroad for medical treatment only to come back worse off than they were beforehand but Pashynska maintains her hospitals all operate to a high standard. She says: “The problem is that many people who go out of the UK to have procedures done don’t do the proper research. They just go online and if the website is good, they go ahead. But a beautiful website means the web designer is highly skilled; it doesn’t mean that the clinic is the same. Often it’s not even a proper hospital!”

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