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Specialist legal expenses provider Arc Legal Assistance (Arc Legal) has launched one of the first legal helplines specifically for people travelling abroad for medical treatment or elective surgery.
The helpline, managed by Stones Solicitors, a firm specialising in international legal matters, will provide professional advice on areas of potential claims such as the quality of care received, medical negligence or clinical malpractice.
According to Arc Legal, despite the economic downturn, medical tourism is still viewed as a sector with significant growth potential. Long waiting times for certain procedures in the UK, and the ease and affordability of international travel and improvements in both the technology and standard of care in many countries is seeing more people elect to travel abroad for treatment such as dental procedures, cosmetic surgery and even specialist surgical procedures such as hip replacements. Over 50 countries worldwide now identify medical tourism as one of their industry sectors.
The first intermediary to use the new service is AllClear Travel, a specialist insurance provider for people with pre-existing medical conditions. All Clear Travel will provide access to Arc Legal’s legal helpline as part of its insurance offering to clients.
Commenting on the launch of the helpline, Richard Finan, Director of Arc Legal, said: “We are recognised for our ability to provide tailored legal services to specific niche markets. The medical tourism helpline is a good example of how this approach works in practice.
“The myriad of jurisdictions and legal frameworks across the globe means that it can be difficult and expensive to make a claim for clinical negligence or malpractice. The helpline will be able to offer policyholders with direct access to specialist lawyers who will help them deal with their problems and concerns.”
For those policyholders wishing to pursue compensation, Stones will take on claims on a private basis, subject to prospects.