Health tourism is currently one of the UK's fastest growing industries, as Europeans flock to our country to take advantage of our overstretched national health service. Though some politicians claim that it's a bad thing, health tourists themselves have spoken out, saying it's the best holiday they've ever had.
"I came to Britain for the lush green hillsides and fascinating history" says Constanta, a 23 year old Romanian. "But after a while they got really boring. So when someone told me that if I unexpectedly got food poisoning I'd get to spend 8 hours sitting in an uncomfortable plastic chair, before arguing with a nurse about whether I'd filled in the right forms or not, I couldn't wait to try it! I ate some 2-week old salmon and ended up having a wonderful time."
Ivan from Russia tells a similar story: "I took my wife to London for our anniversary. However it wasn't really our style. So after a while I contrived to give us both lupus and we spent all day in a hospital waiting room with only a pack of Quavers from the snack machine for sustenance, before a Doctor told us we hadn't got a proper referral and we'd have to come back in eight months. It was magical."
As positive as these experiences sound, there may be a downside. It has been suggested that some visitors who require treatment have actually come to the country for the express purpose of exploiting our free healthcare.
Nikola from Greece is one such case. "I broke my leg and couldn't afford to get it treated," he admitted. "So I hopped onto a flight to Manchester, got it done on the NHS and then flew back. The next month I flew back and had it taken off again - all for free! Technically, the flights cost me more than getting it treated back at home, but at least I got to exploit foreign taxpayers. Why else would I go on holiday?"