Swansea man travelled to Lithuania for knee surgery

People on waiting lists across Wales are 'suffering needlessly', according to one Swansea patient who travelled to Lithuania to have a knee replacement - paid for by the NHS.

Sean Evans was told he would have to wait 50 weeks for a full knee replacement, or spend £8,000 of his own money to have the surgery privately.

But, a friend told him about an opportunity to have the operation sooner.

Sean was told he could apply to the NHS for funding so he could go to an EU country to have the operation. It was accepted and he was sent a cheque £5,844, to cover the cost of the surgery in Lithuania.

Including flights, surgery and after care, the whole thing cost £6,400 in total, which means his new knee cost him £556 out of his own pocket.

Anyone facing a 36-week wait for treatment can apply to their health board for funding to have it carried out elsewhere within Europe.

The European Directive allows EU citizens the right to medical procedures in any member state.

Sean says he is angry that he was not told of all the options that were open to him by his doctor - and feels others may be 'suffering needlessly' on waiting lists.

Sean wants more people to know that they may not have to wait longer than 36 weeks for an operation in Wales.