Tattoo Removal on the NHS

However much of a good idea a tattoo seems at the time, as you get older it may be something that you no longer want.  There are ways of getting rid of them but some are much more effective than others.  Home remedies may be much cheaper than the others but they may not be as good.  In order to make sure that they were gone completely it will be necessary to have them removed by laser.

The cost can be quite high for some tattoos.  Depending on the size and colour of the tattoo is could take quite a few visits to the clinic.  Most visits will cost at least £60 and it can be a process that takes 10 or 12 visits.

Reasons for Wanting Tattoo Removal on the NHS

Often you may want to have the tattoo removed at a time when you are least able to pay for it.  It will be helpful to find somewhere to help with the payments but there are very few places that will be able to help.  There have been a couple of schemes whereby they have been removed free of charge but this is not very often.  In Sunderland a tattoo remover has been removing them free of charge for people who are looking for work.  The need to be able to prove they are actively seeking employment and the tattoo must be visible and be the reason they are being refused employment.

Very often people will want tattoo removal on the NHS when they have decided that they want their tattoo removed.  The majority of the time this is not a service that they provide as it will not be considered a medical procedure.  They will also argue that if the money was found to have the tattoo then surely it can be found to have it removed.

There are exceptions to this and this will be when the tattoo is said to be causing psychological problems.  Again it is not automatic but by visiting the GP they may agree to refer you to the hospital.  Each GP may have a reason why they consider the tattoo a problem and not all will be prepared to do this.  It must be an unusual tattoo or on the face and affecting the quality of life.  A small rose on your back will not be considered.

Debate on Tattoo Removal on the NHS

Tattoo removal on the NHS is a very emotive subject.  There was a debate in the House of Lords in 2006 and opinions were very much divided.  Many felt that the tattoo was the choice of the person involved and in the same way the removal should have to be carried out at their own expense.  Some however felt that exceptions should be made.  A former doctor gave an example of a tattoo he had removed for someone.  This was an offensive tattoo that the man had on his hand and was done at a dark time of his life when he was in prison.  He was now reformed but the tattoo was holding him back.  He removed it in the clinic and did not charge him.  He argued that he did it on a Saturday so it was at his own expense not the NHS.  There are others who felt the use of the surgery constituted tattoo removal on the NHS.


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