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Thread: I cannot believe how much more expensive chairs are in the UK!!

  1. #11
    I understand your frustrations, I'm in the USA though. I'm uninsurable and have to pay anything I need out of pocket. And the cost for anything medical is STUPID expensive. I just avoid any health needs, except my chair and I try and have Rx imported from the UK/Canada which is so much cheaper. I didn't realize the cost of chairs would be so drastically different between the 2 countries! Oye.


    They don't have suppliers in the UK you could purchase from? Is there a way around the import duties by having someone else get it for you as a gift or something? How do you get exempt from your sales tax on a chair?


    I feel for you, that is ridiculus. Vent on

  2. #12
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Thats ridiculous that they don't consider your medical condition to have changed! Technically my disorder isn't progressive either. The genetic issue itself doesn't change. But the result of LIFE + the genetic defect results in progression. Ugh, I'm furious for you too right now!
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  3. #13
    Well their logic is that the GPV is good enough to serve my needs but they don't take into account that when I got it, I was 7 years younger, living at home and didn't drive. Therefore, my body didn't get as tired or have anywhere near the same issues with pain and spasm as I do now. Also, I always had someone to push me when the chair got too heavy.

    I can't rely on those things now. I can't lift the chair in and out the car and when I do use it I can't go for more than an hour before it becomes crazy hard to push. It's got to the point where I'm having to choose between health and independence - I don't think that's right in any modern or apparently civilised society.

    I'm fortunate...It's going to be hard (very hard) but I will be able to raise the money but it breaks my heart to think of people who just can't! What life will they live...? It's not right...(speaking to the added 20% especially).

    They do have UK and European suppliers but they don't seem to be any cheaper.

    I'm seriously considering a vacation in the states to pick it up - I'd much rather enjoy some sun if I'm going to be paying that much anyway lol

  4. #14
    Senior Member Hot_wheels's Avatar
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    In Australia: (At the time the dollar was AUS$1 = US$1.05-$1.10)

    My Quickie GTi pretty much no addons, standard wheels, no backrest in Oz= A$6000
    In USA = A$2700 (US$3000)

    Emotion M15 wheels i got a quote here = A$13000-$14000
    In USA (at the same time)= A$6500 (US$7000)

    If i buy something oversea there is no tax or stamp duty to bring in into oz so yeah US is the go for me.

    However the government pays for half of your wheelchair so i got it in oz as i had to pay $3K if i got it overseas or got it here once 50% was taken off. But still had to wait 6weeks once ordered for them to buy and ship it from the USA.

    When buying stuff here it's like "yes i would like to buy some medical equipment where would you like me to bend over"
    'Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ipenguin View Post
    It all depends. The NHS provide single time funding for anything up to the cost of a Quickie GPV. After that, unless your medical needs change, they won't. I got a GPV 7 years ago and since my condition hasn't 'worsened' (at least from a fundamental medical point of view - my mobility has got much worse because of terrible back spasms etc but since my condition isn't inherently progressive, that doesn't count in their view).

    Some people do have insurance and I suppose they would pay much like in the US but separate medical insurance is rare since then we'd be paying twice in effect.

    What I find frankly indefensible is that for many people (including myself) 20% VAT is added to the price. VAT is a sales tax. Under most circumstances VAT isn't added to essentials but for some insane reason it is added to wheelchairs (unless someone is personally exempt.) - How a wheelchair isn't considered essential, I shall never know!

    I totally agree with SCIfor55yrs!
    Hi, I'm in the UK 'Up North' and have found a totally different experience.....

    The NHS Voucher scheme runs for 3 or 5years (depending what you require) and after that time you should be reassesed for another chair or voucher. I'm aware that the amount you get depends on your local NHS Trust but you should still get something towards a new one...even more so if your needs have changed!

    As for the VAT you are exempt if you are disabled and buying equipment

    http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...yType=document

    I agree with you that stuff here in the UK ALWAYS seems to be way more than it should and frustrates the hell out of me too!

    Before ordering my Oracing I looked at ZRA's and think they are about £2000 base price here in UK and £1800 in US, not a great deal of difference but still annoying!

    You could get in touch with the Spinal Injuries Association here in UK, they have a wealth of knowledge and a FREE advice line http://www.spinal.co.uk/page/advice-line

    I hope you get sorted mate

  6. #16
    I'm in malaysia, where a quickie costs usd3000 standard (around MYR 10k). They say it's because of the tax. this is a 3rd world country for eff sake!

    Luckily the legislation said there are no import tax for medical equipment. I only have to pay for the shipping, buying a tilite from the states.

    You may check the real tax rate for medical equipment with the board/council. What a vendor apply may not be applied to you. There may be company tax to cover for them, but not for us individuals.
    walking is OVER-RATED!!!

    Broken in August 14th, 2003. T9-L1 complete.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by lee5595 View Post
    Before ordering my Oracing I looked at ZRA's and think they are about £2000 base price here in UK and £1800 in US, not a great deal of difference but still annoying!
    1800 pounds a ZRa in US? i think you didn`t look in the correct place.
    $ 2050 basic price is less than 1300 pounds.

    How much cost you your Oracing in UK?

  8. #18
    We have the same issue here in Canada.

    Its unfortunate that the DME's here in my opinion take advantage of some of the government programs here to help ease the cost of having a chair.

    An example for you is : My current chair Tilite Zra Series 2 had a total price tag from my vendor of $9300 Cad. Out of curiosity I priced out the same chair on sportaid.com and it was $3200 Us.

    Its ridiculous.

  9. #19
    wow. this is making me second guess my amazing idea of trying to find work at some point in Canada to avoid being uninsured here. Maybe I'm screwed either way

    I think I'm confused on how insurance works in other countries. Is it just like that for medical equipment? Canada is pretty close by. I would totally call them on that kind of price hike.

    The shipping cost to Australia for a chair must be NUTS. OMG I feel bad about this.

  10. #20
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkleraptor View Post
    wow. this is making me second guess my amazing idea of trying to find work at some point in Canada to avoid being uninsured here. Maybe I'm screwed either way
    Ditto, I've been seriously thinking of immigrating to Canada for the healthcare. There was a NPR article a couple years ago about a woman with my condition immigrating back to Europe because she couldn't afford the medical care here.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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