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Risks and Problems in Medical Tourism

Despite the great variety of medical tourism draws, there is a rather high probability to mess with certain risks when going abroad for treatment. A lot of them can arise not only because of medical process particularities but because organisational and legal issues.

First, before going overseas for treatment, you are strongly advised to ensure that the health care system at your target destination is of a standard equal to or higher than international standards. Medical technologies and health care standards, especially in Asia and Latin America, vary significantly from those acclaimed in Western Europe, the US and former USSR.

One of the most frequently met risk when receiving treatment abroad is limited time for medical interventions and follow-up programmes. It is a widely spread practice for patients to come for a rather short time frame, from several days and up to a month, pinning their hope on  world class medical care. Such a pressed-for-time approach leads to reduced medical specialists’ scope: tighten schedules of patients’ treatment, limited number of procedures and check-ups, excluded long-term treatment modes.

After operative measures and certain medical procedures, patients shall stay under constant medical specialists’ supervision. Therefore, it is a right decision for a patient to agree on possibility of such a care and post-treatment advice in advance. Nowadays doctor’s advice is possible to get via different means of communication, e.g. Internet.

When planning your trip it is a reasonable step to pay attention to period of your stay in the target destination where you are planning to have a treatment. Rehabilitation period is as important as medical procedures. Born in mind, complications are possible after medical interventions. In addition, almost after every medical procedure patients need nursing care, rest and recreation. Taking this into consideration potential medical tourists shall think over possibility of prolongation of their stay at the destination in case of necessity. Patients shall think about visa extension (if needed) and accommodation.

For today, it is rather frequent when potential patients, who want to undergo treatment overseas, give preference to exotic destinations. Besides climate special features, medical tourists shall not forget about such risks as local epidemics and diseases to which you may not be adapted. Going to these countries, do not forget to be inoculated and take advice of your attending physician on climatic adaptation.

Try not being tempted and do not choose medical facilitators which offer services at the most cost-effective prices. The lowest price shall not be a sole criterion of your choice, as it may not satisfy any service standards. Most of medical institutions provide low-cost medical treatment at the expense of cheap medications and materials, time-restricted care and nutrition, and out-of-date technologies. Patients are advised to find out beforehand what medical products will be used when delivering services, what consumer properties they have. If the process of searching for treatment overseas has started, you’d better choose from reputed facilitators that have international accreditation or at least national certificates.

It is not a surprising fact that every medal has its reverse. Weak points of medical tourism can be insufficient level of legal protection in case of medical negligence. It is crucial to remember that legislation in your home country can be fundamentally different from laws of the destination where you have decided to undergo treatment. Before the trip, you are recommended to consult a lawyer on health care legislation, consumers’ rights protection, customs supervision, etc.

Most foreign patients use aircrafts during medical trips. Such services are really fast and convenient, and prices are not greatly in excess of those for other types of transport. In some cases, however, flights - especially long-haul flights - can be dangerous for patients, though. For one thing, it concerns to people, who underwent operative measures, chemotherapy, or glandular therapy. Dry air, insufficient aeration, excess of carbon dioxide can lead not only to giddiness but also to problems that are more serious: engorgement in veins, thrombus formation, and arterial tension difference. Flights are extremely unsafe for pregnant women. Many air carriers set requirements for terms of pregnancy when expectant mothers are prohibited to fly. In such cases, it is advised to obtain this specific information in advance.

In spite of things stated, it is possible to avoid most of risks in case of a right choice, trip insurance and organisation. Therefore, patients should not be afraid of going overseas in searching of quality treatment and rest. Simply stating, you shall have a comprehensive plan, explore the possibilities and advise an experienced expert.

Tags: medical tourism

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