April 30, 2020
Medical procedures can be expensive and this is why people travel abroad to get it done at a lower price. Some countries offer cheaper alternatives than their home countries which makes it a viable option for many people.
The reasons to visit a foreign country to get anything from a cosmetic procedure to cardiac surgeries has given to ride to global medical tourism.
However, before you book yourself for a medical procedure outside your country, you are urged to follow these steps for your own safety.
Do your research
Just as you would plan a vacation, you would also want to determine the cost of getting treated abroad. At the end of the day, the total cost of your travel, stay, and treatment/procedure, should be less than what you’ll pay in your own country. The idea is to save money and if there is no saving, then traveling abroad for a medical treatment may not be such a wise option. You can check the expenses in your own city or country and then compare it with the costs abroad. This the first thing you need to do in series of steps that will ultimately help you take an informed decision.
Connect with companies that specialize in medical tourism
When you are researching tourism options abroad, you must look at hospitals and health providers that specialize in medical tourism. You can check them out online, read reviews, connect with the companies personally to evaluate their work ethic, ask for licenses, certificates, or any other documentation that proves their worthiness in performing the procedure. While you will be able to find most of this information online, it is highly recommended that you speak with them personally and ask as many questions as possible.
Only choose reputed hospitals
When looking for a healthcare institute abroad, the key is to look for hospitals that have an international wing. They are trained to service foreign clients and can offer all the advice in English. Make sure that the institute is accredited and are known to provide quality health care.
Share your plans with your doctor
If you have a family doctor, then be sure to discuss your decision to get treated abroad. Your primary doctor has your medical history that will come in handy when you speak with the specialist abroad. You may also want to tell your insurer. In some policies, you may be covered for a treatment abroad, as far as it is isn’t cosmetic. Sharing these details with the intended parties will help you get the best expert advice at every step to help you make a wise decision.
Understand how they perform the procedure abroad
Medical standards and practices vary from country to country. Besides, medical tourism has been designed in such a way that it gives you end to end experience. For instance, a blood test in Brazil will give you a spa like comfort and post-fasting snacks after the completion of the test. Unlike your home country where a medical process will be straightforward, the medical tourism does not isolate its procedures from the local culture. It is an end-to-end experience that will give you the best of both worlds – affordable medical treatment and tourism.
Take all the pros, cons, and caveats into consideration
One of the biggest advantages of getting treated abroad is the significant reduction in the medical costs. Did you know that depending upon the country you choose, you can save as much as 90%? This, however, depends on the complexity of the procedure and number of other factors. Plus, don’t forget to add the travel and living costs while you are getting treated. Sometimes the total savings may not be that much but there is always the benefit of visiting another country while you are at it!
Follow up visits
Another important point that people often forget is the follow up visits. Does you procedure require you to make post-procedure appointments with your doctor? What if something goes wrong and you need to meet your doctor again? This scenario, though less likely, can’t be written off entirely. Therefore, discuss all these possibilities before making a decision. Also take the potential post-procedure risks into account or special considerations before you engage in medical tourism.
While medical tourism has gained immense traction, it comes with its own risks and advantages. Don’t rush into it, attracted by the prospect of being abroad. Do follow all these tips and keep your family doctor in the loop at every step of the way. If done the right way, your medical tourism experience will not only be cost-saving but also an enjoyable time before or after your procedure when you get to experience a new country!