In these tough economic times when cut backs are the name of the game, people suffering from hair loss will see costs of one type of treatment rise significantly. Hair transplants are to become increasingly expensive as hospitals in the UK and USA attempt to reduce their deficits.
Health chiefs in Gwent, Wales, have ordered a clampdown on 54 ‘low-priority’ hospital treatments in an attempt to save money and create more available operating theatre time. The list includes mostly what are considered cosmetic surgeries and which are deemed as low priority for the NHS in Wales.
Known as Interventions Not Normally Funded (INNF), the procedures to be reduced include tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), breast enlargement, facelifts, hair grafting for male pattern baldness, liposuction, tattoo removal, and reversal of male or female sterilisation. There may be certain circumstances when these procedures are permitted, but that will be the exception rather than the norm.
The number of low priority treatments carried out in Gwent hospitals has been rising in recent years. It was estimated that more than 4,600 INNF operations were performed in Gwent last year, at a cost of almost £1.2 million. However, recent figures have revealed the true figure to be more than 5,500 which means the actual cost is in the region of £1.4m. A report to health board members warned that minimising INNF treatments may not result in significant financial savings, because the theatres will still be being used. But a reduction in INNF procedures will give surgical teams more time to perform medium and high priority operations, helping meet waiting times targets, and any money saved can be invested in this area.
In the USA hair transplants are funded privately and, despite the associated high costs (which can reach tens of thousands of dollars), a large number of men opt for surgery in a bid to retain their locks. However the costs could rise even further; Congress has proposed to add a 10% additional tax on surgical hair replacement as well as all other cosmetic procedures. Some argue that the US government’s attempt to overhaul heathcare by increasing the cost of cosmetic treatments will damage the economy rather than help it, as people will be priced out of the marketplace.
Time will tell if hair transplants become less popular as a result of their cost. It may lead to people exploring other options such as non-surgical hair loss treatments. There are two medications for hair loss that have undergone extensive clinical trials and been found to be effective when used correctly. As a result of these studies, Propecia and Minoxidil have been licensed by the MHRA in the UK and FDA-approved in the USA. A person who opts for a hair transplant will have to use these medications post-surgery to maintain hair growth around the transplanted area, so it is wise to investigate whether they can benefit you before considering surgery. This not only reduces cost but will be a safer option and sometimes creates more natural-looking results.
The Belgravia Centre has been treating all types of male and female hair loss for several years. With a team of highly qualified specialists, Belgravia is able to diagnose any hair loss condition and recommend a treatment programme that will bring about optimum levels of re-growth. But don’t just take our word for it; take a look at what the clients of Belgravia have to say about their treatment courses and view before and during treatment photographs, by clicking on the hair loss success stories page.
If you would like to have a diagnosis and discuss treatment options, then contact Belgravia for a free consultation with one of the clinic’s specialists. Appointments are available 7 days a week and take 30-45 minutes. To book, simply call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. If you are unable to visit the London-based clinic, just complete the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will contact you at your convenience.