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Medical Tourism: The Procedure

Before you go to another country to receive treatment, it is important that you understand all the details of the trip first. The information you obtain should entail all the procedures to be done, as well as all the institutions and medical experts included in your care. This will ensure that you only get the highest quality treatment and that you stay protected against possible scams and other errors. Here is the typical process of medical tourism.

The Process

A provider of medical tourism should be consulted initially by patients looking for medical attention overseas. The patient should give complete medical reports, such as the local doctor’s diagnosis and recommendations, current condition, current ailment, medical background and other pertinent data. Certified consultants and medical experts will then advise the patient on which medical treatment is right for the problem.

The patient should also be informed about the details of the trip, such as the tourist destinations, estimated costs of care, hospitals and medical institutions included and the duration of the stay. The patient will be provided with recommendation letters to obtain a medical visa. After the patient signs agreements and consent bonds, the embassy will procure the documents and finalize the visa and passport for travel.

The provider will appoint a case executive to handle the patient once he reaches the country abroad. The provider will manage items like accommodations, transportation, tours and treatment. The patient can choose to stay longer abroad or immediately return home after treatment, depending on the doctor’s recommendations.

Finding the Organizations

The Trent International Accreditation Scheme is the main body handling standards of care in the United Kingdom and Hongkong, while the Joint Commission International (JCI) is responsible for monitoring health care standards and providers in the United States. It is important that the patient is informed about the involved medical institutions handling his case. The type of scheme may differ in terms of size, cost and intensity of marketing. Dual accreditation is also available in some very competent agencies.

Laws and Regulations

The patient should be informed about the various laws and regulations regarding his care and the procedure to be done. For example, fertility clinics or in-vitro fertilization are not allowed or are strictly regulated in some countries. The patient may choose to travel abroad to take advantage of some lenient policies. He should also be informed about other related stipulations once he returns to the United States or the UK. Patients should also be informed about current epidemics and other high risk nations that still harbour infectious diseases, such as malaria, TB and HIV.

Patients in the end have the final say as to the type of care they wish to receive, as well as the institution they choose to deal with. The patient has the right to refuse treatment. Patients can also stay longer if they want to extend their vacation. These individuals should be informed about the different risks and possible complications involved in the medical procedure to be done. Follow-up treatment can be done back in their home country.


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Risks and Issues Around Medical Tourism

Medical tourism can cover a variety of practices and procedures. As much as you need to review the benefits and advantages, it is equally vital to learn about the possible risks and other issues about the trip. Some patients have suffered life-threatening conditions because of errors and lack of research. You have to know more about the potential risks before you consider going abroad for treatment. Here are some more tips and guidelines.

Knowing the Risks

Medical tourism also includes a number of risks, compared to getting health care from local sources. A number of countries experience sporadic infectious diseases once in a while. These include Thailand, Malaysia, India and the Philippines. The diseases may not be present in other nations like the United States and European countries. Weakened individuals may be exposed to the problems, like malaria, HIV, avian flu, tuberculosis and typhoid. Some of these diseases are considered rare in first world countries.

The quality of care pre and post-operative can also differ, based on the country and medical institution. Some of the standards may be different from what you were accustomed to in America. Trent and JCI can ensure that you get the best standards of care in these countries. If you travel long distances after undergoing surgery, you can also boost the risk of developing other problems and complications. Some of the causes of complications include being cramped and staying immobile for a long period of time inside an airplane. It is vital that you include several days off after surgery before going back to your country to get better and recover faster.

Legalities

Some complaints that you can easily pass on in your country may not be as easy to deal with when traveling abroad. The policies and rules may change drastically thereby limiting patients’ abilities to get satisfactory results after any given procedure. If you get medical treatment overseas, you may be unfamiliar to some legalities and regulations. The limited regulations in some countries can explain the lower cost of health care. Some individuals have been victims of medical malpractice and inadequate care stemming from lack of equipment and tools, inexperienced doctors and incompetent programs. Some institutions and medical experts may not even afford some of the financial damages that come from lawsuits.

About Ethics

One problem that medical tourism may cause is that locals no longer can receive quality and standard care because hospitals and doctors are focusing more on foreign patients who can pay more and afford drastic procedures. Although foreigners may no longer have problems when it comes to paying and waiting, the locals will have to deal with the increased cost of care that local institutions are offering globally.

Pioneering modern technologies can also mean that some devices and medications are not yet fully proven to provide all the beneficial effects. It is not uncommon to see some foreign patients come back and experience very bad side effects after a few months, because of unconventional therapy and practices. Always research all the equipment you are going to use and the procedure you are planning to go through.


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