Are you traveling for medical reasons? Our panel tells you what you should keep in mind.
Medical care outside of your own country is becoming a popular option for many travelers. As each day goes by, it just gets easier to hop on a place and catch a flight to your next surgical destination.
But before you go rushing off, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind, so here are a few tips, especially for the medical tourist!
First and foremost, medical tourism may seem like an attractive and fancy endeavor, but it only really makes sense in certain situations. Don’t go rushing away from home unless it’s really required.
Is the medical procedure that you’re going for of superior quality than what you can avail at home?
Does is minimize the financial burden on you and your family?
Is safe for you to travel before and after the medical procedure?
Have you consulted your doctor about how how safe the treatment is and have you done your research properly?
Once you’ve decided that you really want to go through with this, here are a few things that you should keep in mind when you’re doing your research.
Where to do you want to go? – Depending on what kind of procedure you want to get done, different countries will suit your requirements. For example, India is best known for it’s cardiac care where as Costa Rica is home to some of the best plastic surgeons. It’s not plastic surgeons in India won’t be as capable or that Costa Rica’s cardiologists are qualified, but doing the research will help narrow down your options.
Quality – You don’t want to travel half way around the word just to find out that the level of medical care that’s offered isn’t completely safe or hygienic. The best way to compare standards is to look up ISO (International Organization for Standardization) ratings.
Budget – When you go to another country for a treatment it’s not only the cost of the procedure that you have take into account. Accommodation as well other costs have to be taken into account to make sure that it doesn’t end up being of more trouble that it’s worth.
Post Treatment Care – Where ever you go, they will probably be equipped with the right tools to address your problem if you’ve done your research properly. But in case of an emergency, take into consideration the surrounding hospital. A bigger or more advanced hospital should be close by so that you can be transferred in case the occasion calls for it.
Reviews – Get in touch with other people who may have gone through the same treatments or medical procedures. You can usually find most of this information online but something even the facilities where you want to go have patients who might be willing to share their own experience. Be sure to ask for a patient liaison or coordinator when you’re narrowing down your treatment centers.
If you feel like doing everything on your own is a little overwhelming, then there are plenty of medical tourism companies and services that you can get in touch with. Find a company that specializes in what you need, and they’ll take care of finding the best facilities and take care of your travel arrangements as well. Here are some of things that you should be aware of when looking for a medical service.
Any decent company should be able to provide you with research that you would’ve to do on your won. Ask for about the facility where you’ll be going and it’s certifications. If possible, ask to speak to some of the patients that have used the medical service for the same procedure and get their opinion.
Some companies offer treatments all over the world while other focus on a specific country. While one gives you more options and may seem like the better alternative, keep in mind that the latter has more knowledge focused on that one country with respect to language barriers and cultural differences. One isn’t better than the other, it’s just something that you should keep in mind while making your decision.
Another advantage of going through a medical tourism agency is that you’ll be able to get quotes and pricing for the procedures that you require easily and with more accuracy. When doing it on your own, it would take you a lot longer to call around and make the inquiries yourself.
You shouldn’t have to pay a penny out of your own pocket for these services. Medical tourism companies are normally directly associated with the hospitals and facilities, so that the hospital pays a percentage of the treatment fees to the medical tourism service for organizing the care program.
Once you’ve made your decision about where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone for, you should take precautions to make sure that all of your medical information is safe and sound. There are a few documents that you should have on person, but make sure that you leave one set of copies at home.
Medical Records – Anything that you may need from X-Rays to immunizations, that may be relevant to the procedure should be in your carry on luggage.
Passport and Visa – It goes without saying but when you’re traveling out of the country, you’ll need to keep your passport on person. Most of time you’ll need to apply for a visa as well, so get in touch with the respective embassy well in advance because visa procedures take time.
Money – While traveling make sure that you have some amount of local currency on you as well as travelers checks. Carry about one or two credit cards or debit cards that you think are accepted world wide.
Identification – Aside from your passport, have at least one more document on person for identification like a driver’s license.
Once you have all your stuff in order, you’re ready to roll! Nothing is better than a relaxing vacation right before you surgery to put you in the right mood. So go with plenty of time in hand and have a safe time.