Concerned about traveling overseas for medical purposes? Don’t be! Here is a great article that should ease you concerns and fears. If you have any questions for us on this matter, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
¿Preocupado por viajar al extranjero con fines médicos? No seas! Aquí hay un gran artículo que debería aliviar sus preocupaciones y temores. Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre este tema, no dude en contactarnos.
6 Medical Tourism Concerns And How To Overcome Them
Have reservations about travelling abroad for medical treatment? Well, you are not alone then! The thought of a heart bypass or knee replacement in a foreign land can cause reservations in any normal individual.
Medical tourism entails certain risks but with proper planning and research, it is possible to get past the concerns with medical tourism. In fact, millions of people cross borders every year to get medical treatment and end up receiving safe, affordable and quality treatment.
We, at Med Halt, are writing this blog to highlight the top 6 medical tourism concerns faced by patients and also the solutions to these concerns.
A number of ethical as well as physical risks which easily be countered, prevent medical toursists from travelling abroad and saving costs for medical treatments. Source: William Rafti via wikimedia.org
Top 6 Medical Tourism Concerns
Risk 1: What To Do If Something Goes Wrong?
There exists no international legal regulation or law for medical tourism. Legal recourse can be a difficult task for the medical tourist. This can discourage a lot of people from going abroad for medical treatment.
What Can Be Done?
The hospital authorities are completely aware that one mistake with a foreign patient could possibly become a CNN Headline news the following day. No hospital desirous of pulling in international patients wants such negative publicity.However, medical malpractice can occur in any hospital. But we have to keep in mind that low malpractice insurance laws are the primary reason for the less expensive treatment costs available abroad. To avoid such issues, it is best to choose a good quality hospital. This can be done by checking the hospital’s accreditation and also if it has shown a commitment towards providing quality health care.
In case you are still dissatisfied with the services provided, try to resolve problems by discussing them with your provider. They will do all they can to set the things right because even they, like you, want to avoid the legal saw.
The major problem with travelling abroad for foreign treatment is our lack of knowledge about the services provided by the overseas hospitals. It is practically not possible or feasible for the medical tourists to go to the respective hospitals and check for themselves the quality of the services provided by them.
What Can Be Done?
A lot can be done before setting out for the treatment to remove concerns about the quality of the services provided by the hospital. A careful homework should be done before selecting a hospital. You should check for the hospital’s accreditation and affiliations (detailed information on international healthcare accreditations).
Getting to know if the previous patients have been satisfied by the hospital’s performance surely helps. So, previous patient testimonials should be requested from the hospitals. Also, the qualifications of the doctors should be checked for further satisfaction.
RISK 3: What Kind Of Food Will I Be Served?
Many tourists are terrified at the idea of not receiving the food of their choice during their stay in a foreign place. Will patients be served the local food or international food that matches their palette? Will the hospital accommodate for dietary issues such as allergies? Will the hospital provide food in accordance to one’s religion or health requirements?
What Can Be Done?
Most reputed international hospitals provide a variety of cuisines. They are often accommodating of dietary restrictions. However, while finalising your treatment hospital, it is your best bet to ask them if your dietary preferences will be accommodated.
If you’re not a picky eater, we recommend you to grab the opportunity to try the various delicious cuisines of your preferred destination.
Leading hospitals in medical tourism destinations today have incorporated low calorie, vegan food options in their hospital menu, which are more healthier and affordable. Source: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration via wikimedia.org
RISK 4: What If I Face Immigration Issues Before/After The Completion Of My Treatment?
What if my visa expires during the treatment? What if I face other immigration issues? These are legitimate concerns and voiced by a large number of tourists.
What Can Be Done ?
Please plan ahead to make sure you are granted a medical visa in time for your treatment. Most medical tourism visas are granted for a long enough period to get full recovery. However, if for some reason your visa is expiring, contact your embassy well ahead of time.
If possible, patients are encouraged to go with at least one companion to assist them during the course of the treatment. Your travel plans will be completely directed by the surgical system you select. When you select a procedure and destination, your healthcare provider will let you know about the prescribed recovery time required and you will be making your travel plans based on that information. Hence, visa expiration issues shouldn’t arise. Even if they do arise, your travelling companion can contact your embassy in that country and get the problem sorted out.
Risk 5: What About Security Concerns and Issues In The Host Country?
Is there an infection or epidemic that has spread in my destination country? Are there any local violence activities?
What Can Be Done?
To avoid such problems, a proper background study of the chosen destination should be done in advance and also news articles should be read. This will provide you with the requisite information about the kind of safety issues that are prevailing there at any particular time.
Risk 6: What If Problems Arise After I Return?
Complications or small problems requiring medical attention can arise after returning to the homeland. Sometimes, the surgery which the patients undergo needs additional care and supervision to set the individual in proper health before he leaves for his homeland. Also, follow-up care can be needed by the patient even after his return. Who does he contact in that case?
What Can Be Done?
Most worldwide healthcare suppliers permit a more extended hospital stay in comparison to the US suppliers. So the patients have adequate time to recover fully under the supervision of their surgeon before they set out for a return journey to their homeland.
It is advisable to inform the doctor in the home country about the trip abroad. The patient might need to contact him for medical records or any other information needed before the surgery or for any follow-up care needed after the return.
Before returning home, the patient must remember to collect all the relevant documents like the post-op reports, x-rays, lab reports and letters to make the process of aftercare easier.
There are a number of risks surrounding medical tourism but we also have solutions to work our way around them. The one solution that will work for almost all of the risks associated with medical tourism is selecting a good hospital. A good quality hospital desirous of pulling in medical tourists will surely offer a good service. We hope this list helps to solve most of your concerns regarding medical tourism.