Katherine Murphy of the Patients' Association says: 'You have to ask yourself: Who is regulating the clinic? 'We recently received a letter from a man whose young wife died after a hernia operation in India.
Doctors in England told her that she did not need surgery, but on a holiday to India she visited a local clinic where she was told they could operate the next day; 24-hours later she was dead from unforeseen complications.' 'These clinics make surgery sound easy.
But by February 2007 my other hip had started to be really bad, so I saw an English surgeon at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.
After the operation, she was in a terrible pain and had low blood pressure - it turned out later she was suffering from internal bleeding.
I'm ten times worse than I was before the surgery and now I'm facing a battle to get compensation.
I feel so stupid.' Fears about MRSA and waiting lists have made medical tourism a big business - last year an estimated 50,000 Britons travelled overseas for medical treatment, spending an astonishing £161million on procedures such as dentistry, cosmetic surgery, hip replacements and fertility treatment. India, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, Poland and Spain are all popular destinations.
Mrs Cracknell, who works in a pet shop, went on an NHS waiting list and was seen six months later, during which time the wound was dressed continuously.
When she eventually saw a plastic surgeon eight months later, he removed a huge sac of blood and fluid called a haematoma which was 16cm long and 12cm wide.