What rights do I have as a medical tourist?
Did you know that international patients have rights, but they are not actually so aware of all of them? Regardless of age, sex, race, religion, culture, colour, ancestry, ethnicity, country of residence, national origin, citizenship, language, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation, medical tourists have a well established set of rights.
The international patient’s rights include all the possibilities for the individual to defend their interests as a patient. Any right of the patient corresponds to an obligation of someone else (a doctor, a medical institution, a medical tourism company or a public authority of the state) to satisfy it. International patient rights imply equitable access to health services, quality of care, patient compliance as a human being, dignity and human integrity.
Read below which are your rights from the moment you decide to travel abroad for medical services.
The right to be correctly informed
Note this: it’s your right as a medical tourist to get information (at any moment) regarding the entire process of being treated abroad. It’s very important to be aware of every single aspect of your upcoming experience. It’s a completely new event happening in your life and it involves your health, your emotions, your money, your wellbeing. No matter if you’re still planning your trip, or you’re already at the hospital, be sure that you find out everything that interests you.
You should be informed in a language that both you and the other parts can understand. Also, you will receive a copy of your medical record, containing all the relevant information regarding your health status and treatment details. Complete, accurate and timely information is something that every medical tourist has the right to receive.
All the information should be communicated to the patient in a respectful manner, clearly, minimizing the specialized terminology.
So go ahead and ask questions about everything that concerns you: cost estimates, payment methods, doctors’ background, healthcare facilities, travelling destinations, clinics, hospitals, treatment options, procedures, likely and unexpected outcomes, risks. Those in charge of offering medical tourism services will be happy to help you!
The right to choose
After you’ve been properly informed about your trip, treatment and every other detail, be aware that you have the right of making a choice. Assisted by a specialized team, you will choose your destination, hospital/clinic and doctor.
You can decide whether or not you want (or need) to travel alone or accompanied. Also, it’s your choice if you accept or refuse certain treatments and procedures. If something doesn’t feel right, you can always say ‘no’.
Medical tourists can choose to seek for a second opinion and can ask to be referred to other doctors, if they’re not satisfied.
You shouldn’t be in any way restrained, unless there is a situation in which you have to be protected from harm. Also, if you request it, you have the right to an advance directive (health care proxy, living will etc.).
The right to medical treatment
You have the right to be evaluated and treated correctly. All the services received by medical tourists have to respect a high standard of quality.
You have to be treated with respect in a suitable and safe environment, to be properly evaluated and taken care of, free from abuse and have access to protective services. If you request it, you should have spiritual services provided.
Before you end your stay and treatment, you will receive further indications from the medical team in charge.
The right to privacy
All the information you provide to your medical travel agency and to the hospital/clinic is and remains confidential. Details regarding your health status, condition, treatment, procedures are known only by you and the medical team (unless you give permission that the information can be released, or in the case in which it is required by law).
Treatments, examinations and procedures will be performed in a private environment, where only the patient and the hospital staff will be present.
Exceptions are made only in situations required by law.
The right to a complaint
If something didn’t go as agreed upon, you have the right to make a complaint, have it analyzed and resolved in the correct manner.
It’s your right to know who are those in charge to resolve the complaint (patient representatives, foreign consular representatives, ethics committees, ombudsmen etc.).
So, keep in mind that every international patient has the right to participate in treatment decisions, be well informed and maintain an open communication with all the parts involved in the process. This helps everyone by facilitating effective care, encouraging respect and valuing every individual.
Stay constantly up to date with the rights you have as a medical tourist! At PlacidWay, we are happy to tell you more and provide correct, relevant information in this sense.
PlacidWay is a global medical tourism company that helps patients evaluate their options, providing helpful tools and details in order to make the best decision. Every patient needs to know the choices that best fit his/her needs in terms of budget, health conditions and destination.
Be aware of your rights! Contact us, we'll be happy to tell you more!