DEFENCE chiefs have spent well over £10million over five years on private treatment for troops stuck on NHS waiting lists.

Almost 2,000 had private spinal and orthopaedic operations between 2017 and 2021.

And around £6million of the bill was spent on mental health treatment in private clinics.

The Ministry of Defence figures also show thousands went on nose jobs, scans, tummy tucks, breast reductions, tattoo removal and IVF.

The scheme was set up to avoid NHS delays and reduce referrals to the now-shut Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Surrey.

An MoD review said NHS departments suffered from “long waiting times”.

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Troop healthcare is provided by the Defence Medical Services.

Most secondary treatment is with the NHS on a case-by-case basis.

The  MoD said: “We provide tailored healthcare to ensure personnel return to fitness as soon as possible after treatment.”

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