How Should I Go After My Medical Treatment Abroad?
How Should I Go After My Medical Treatment Abroad?
Travelling abroad to get medical care seems to be only for rich people. At least that's how it used to be. Now, low to middle class people are able to travel with low airfare cost options and armed only with lots of information they researched on the internet. Once you have decided to pursue your medical treatment in another country, we need at least be able to anticipate and prepare for the many possibilities in order to maximize the healthcare benefits of your travel and make it seamless.
The Current Trend in Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism is a multi-billion industry that has paved for millions of people from everywhere to get quality care abroad and has evolved with even better options to offer:
Procedures have varied
It's not just about the standard dental, orthopedic or heart procedures anymore. Healthcare abroad has more to offer what with popular procedures like cosmetic, bariatric and even specialized ones like stem cells and organ transplants.
Growing number of destinations to choose from
More and more countries are developing to cater specifically to medical tourists. Be it their low-cost offers or beautiful scenery which you can enjoy while recovering, the options are just getting better.
Rise in the number of qualified medical professionals in medical tourism destination
Skilled medical professionals continue to multiply with more countries investing in training and education that would support their medical tourism program.
The younger population proved to be more embracing of medical tourism as they are more open to experimenting and thus paves the way for new destinations to be discovered and considered.
Movement in the Economy
A change in the economy greatly influences the growth of medical tourism- weakening of your local currency, political unrest, etc. drives people to seek medical treatment elsewhere where it's more affordable and reliable.
Why do People travel for medical treatment abroad?
This is the usual consideration of medical tourists. We want to be able to get our medical treatment done that is relatively less expensive without any compromise to quality.
Unavailability of medical treatment locally
The medical procedure is simply not available in your own country, hence, the option to travel is considered.
Waiting, in general, is painful, more so if you require medical treatment. Countries having free healthcare for the people but would have to wait to receive the care would decide to travel out and pay for it instead- the cost of private care is still not as expensive if they do it in their country.
Desire for the best treatment
People who desire to find the best treatment that exists would be open to travel anywhere to get it
If you wish to be discreet with your medical treatment, doing it abroad would make the whole experience private and can even be during a well-deserved vacation.
Current Popular Treatments in Medical Tourism
- Cosmetic surgery- some procedures that are specialized are much better done in other countries by doctors who have more experience and is much more cost-effective
- Dentistry- In the US for example, people may cross the border and get their dental implants done with lesser cost than doing it locally. Also, insurance companies offer coverage/ reimbursement for the portion of your dental cost.
- Stem Cell Therapy- Because of the phenomenal benefits of the treatment and yet certain restrictions surrounding it, people travel out of the country to get it done,
- Heart surgery- the option for more cost-effective surgery and perhaps even better specialization on procedures makes this a treatment worth pursuing abroad.
- Cancer Treatment- a life-threatening condition such as cancer requires immediate treatment. Some people would opt to do this outside the country mainly to get the best treatment with possibly much more advanced programs and technology.
- Fertility Treatment- Because of restrictions set on certain countries on procedures like IVF or gender selection, they would choose to travel to a country where it's permitted
- Weight-loss- A popular consideration among medical tourists is the cost. For example, gastric sleeve surgery is around 60% cheaper in Mexico than in the US which is a huge savings.
- Orthopedics-to prevent a bad knee or hip from worsening, patients are seeking surgery outside their country instead of waiting for their chance to get it done locally.
The Risks in Medical Tourism
Communication Barrier: Receiving medical care and facility at a country where you do not fluently speak the language might increase misunderstandings about your care.
Poor Quality of Treatment: It is often a challenge to do a complete research on the doctor or the clinic that you will choose for your treatment and may lead you to a bad choice. Check the health care provider’s qualifications and facility credentials as per the foreign standards for health care providers before you register for any treatment.
Antibiotic Resistance: Antibiotic resistance is a global problem but may be more common in countries other than your own.
Food: The food and even the water may be a challenge if you have an easily upset stomach.
Flying Home Soon After Surgery: Flying after surgery or some particular treatment procedures can increase the risk of blood clots and other complications.
Benefits of Pursuing Medical Treatment Abroad
Wide range of procedures: A lot of procedures that you can choose that may not be available in your own country
No waiting time: You don't have to wait for months to get your treatment or surgery scheduled.
All-inclusive care: Wanting to create a positive travel experience for you, medical tourism clinics would often provide a package where miscellaneous items that are usually paid separately are already included in the quote you will receive so you won’t have to worry about so many details
Cost-savings: The cost of the treatment is significantly less expensive on certain treatments depending on which country they will be done.
Explore another destination: You get to be an actual “tourist” and be able to experience different cultures and people.
Get a free consultation/ evaluation: It lets you secure an evaluation/ second opinion on the medical treatment you wish to do without any cost.
What to Consider When Pursuing Medical Treatment Abroad
Make sure to research well.
There’s nothing else that would give you a successful medical journey than researching your treatment and all that comes with it.
- Choosing a Destination Country: After deciding to pursue overseas treatment, the first thing you have to do is to choose a suitable hospital in a suitable country. You need to decide on a country that can meet your medical needs before choosing a hospital. Besides knowing the basics about the country, your decision to finalize the country should be based on the factors listed below:
- The Current Political Condition of The Country: The most important thing to consider a country is its safety. Specific regions of a country can be unsafe to enter for foreigners. Have a thorough grasp of the country and the city you are traveling to before embarking on your journey. Also, consider the current weather conditions and prepare yourself accordingly.
- Quality and Specialization: Consider the specialization of the country you are considering in regards to common healthcare standards and its reputation for a particular field or procedures.
- Distance: You should consider the distance of the destination country when choosing a medical procedure to be performed there. Make sure that the country is close enough to yours to avoid sitting on a plane for too long. In many cases, it saves you some money.
- Cost: We firmly believe in the fact that healthcare quality should never be compromised at any cost. However, the cost of accommodation, transportation, and living should be considered before traveling as these expenses vary from country to country. It is wise to choose a country that is relatively less expensive and at the same time does not decline in comparison.
- Choosing A Medical Center: Once you have a few countries in mind, the next step for you is to choose a hospital in which your treatment will take place. Your decision of hospital should be based on the vital factors listed below:
- Cost of The Medical Procedure: Cost of a particular medical procedure usually varies between different hospitals. Compare the price range of different hospitals while considering your medical procedure to find out which one is the most financially beneficial for you, provided that you do not compromise for the sake of cheaper costs.
- Affiliation of the Medical Center: Affiliation of the hospital indicates its quality. Hence, confirm the affiliation before actually finalizing the medical center.
- Facility, Equipment and Technology of the Medical Center: Make sure that the hospital you are going to choose has all the required facilities and technology to accommodate your treatment. Inquire about new methods of treatment at the hospital, and follow-up care for its patients before making the final decision.
- Doctors, Surgeons, and Hospital Staff: Thoroughly check the information of the doctors/surgeons offering the treatment and make sure that they are adequately qualified, trained and licensed. Check the previous experiences of patients in performing the same treatment procedure that you are planning to have. Also, confirm if the hospital staff and doctors/surgeons can communicate with you in a mutually understood language.
- Safety Profile: While choosing a hospital, thoroughly check for their safety profile including:
- Success rates, and
- Previous accidents (if any)
- Look for reviews and feedbacks of patients who have previously been to the hospital for further reference.
Medical Tourism has opened a lot of doors to people who deserve better options for their medical treatment. Being able to get medical care that's affordable and of high quality relieves some of the stress you experience when you are in need of a medical solution. We must remember though that it involves careful research and planning for us to avoid the risks and fully enjoy the benefits of our medical journey.
PlacidWay is a U.S-based global medical tourism marketplace with 1000s of renowned medical and wellness centers from over 45 countries and in over 250 cities worldwide. PlacidWay’s global presence includes patient access from all continents including the Americas, Europe, Middle East, CIS, Africa, and Asia. PlacidWay offers a Medical Tourism platform that includes CRM at NO COST to its medical providers.
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