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Medical Tourism: Going to Asia

People from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom usually aim for Asian countries when getting medical treatment for a variety of reasons. Asians are known to be very kind, accommodating and friendly. Asian nations are also widely popular for their unique and colorful culture, so you get to learn a lot from your trip. Finally, the technologies and practices in these countries are now considered globally competitive and safe.

Going to India

Medical tourism in India experiences a yearly growth rate of about 30%. By 2012, experts estimate the revenues brought in by the industry will reach about $2 billion. Some of the reasons why foreigners go to India include the very low cost of medical treatment, the very rich culture, historical and religious landmarks and the availability of modern medical technologies and equipment.

At present, infrastructures in India is not that many, but the cost of treatment in India is only around 10% of the cost you expect to pay in America or the United Kingdom. Some of the most popular treatments that visitors go for include cardiac bypass surgery, alternative medicine, eye surgery, hip resurfacing, heart surgery, orthopedic surgery and bone marrow transplant.

The health capital of India is Chennai, located at the southern region. The city brings in around 45% of medical tourists from other nations and about 40% from local places. Other medical tourism hotspots in India are Mangalore and New Delhi.

More Asian Countries

Malaysia is one of the newest favorites of medical tourists. Some of the advantages of visiting the country include the availability of top quality hospitals, experienced and well-trained medical staff and English being widely spoken throughout the main cities. Malaysia also has a very active association that aims to develop medical tourism. There is a national accreditation scheme as well. A lot of the hospitals aim to become dually accredited in a few years.

The Philippines is known for having very qualified doctors and dentists. A number of medical institutions are already accredited by JCI. Expect treatment to be only a fraction of the cost you pay for in the States. Some of the popular procedures done in the country include dental work, plastic surgery and heart surgery.

Korea and Singapore

Korea is one of the hottest medical tourism destinations today. Japanese patients usually go to Korea to avail of cheaper prices and the modern medical equipment and facilities. Korean clinics and hospitals are especially popular for procedures like cancer treatment, organ transplant, joint care, dental care, ophthalmology, spinal treatment and infertility treatment. Other popular procedures are mostly included in cosmetic surgery, such as nose jobs, skin lightening, eyelid surgery and facelifts.

Singapore has several health centers and hospitals accredited by JCI. It is preferred by several tourists because English is widely spoken and the equipment, technology and practices are always updated and are among the best in the world. Singapore also has agencies working to ensure that the country becomes one of the best when it comes to providing quality and advanced patient care.


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Fertility Tourism: Making Babies Abroad

A lot of people are going abroad to avail of fertility methods and procedures. Fertility tourism has become widely popular especially in countries like Thailand, Jordan and Malaysia. You can get the benefit of cutting costs, enjoying a great vacation and having a child you have always wanted. Procedures in developing countries are generally state-of-the-art, top quality and reliable. Here are some more tips and details about the approach.

What is Fertility Tourism?

Fertility tourism is also called reproductive tourism, described as the process of going to a different country to receive fertility treatments. The approach is considered a part of medical tourism. The main reasons that foreigners go to other countries to seek attention is the lower price offered by developing countries and legalities concerning the procedure in their home nation. The major procedures done include donor insemination and in-vitro fertilization. The term was also proposed to be “reproductive exile” to focus on the difficulties that infertile patients have to face, having to travel globally to receive treatment.

On IVF Procedures

Israel is the number one fertility tourism destination in the world for IVF or in-vitro fertilization techniques. It has the most number of fertility clinics per capita globally. America is preferred by several Europeans due to the bigger success rates and less stringent regulations. A lot of infertile patients go to Italy and Germany as well because of their lenient laws. Countries like America and Spain are quite restrictive when it comes to donor egg utilization as well as the number of eggs that can be fertilized.

Some of the risks include women having multiple pregnancy and the development of some complications because of the minimized restrictions on the number of eggs allowed to be implanted into the uterus at a single session.

More Details

Some individuals who wish to choose the sex of their child usually travel to the United States. A lot of people from the United Kingdom travel to the States, due to the PGD or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which is an extension of IVF for sex selection, which is not allowed in the United Kingdom. The UK only allows the procedure, if the patient needs to be screened for genetic problems, while other regulations in the United States are more lenient.

Other Destinations

The United Kingdom and Sweden are short on sperm donors and only allow identified donors. The stock has dropped by one-third in the United Kingdom. Sweden, at present, has an eighteen-month waiting list for donor sperm. British women, as a result, go to Spain and Belgium for donor insemination. The laws have been changed, however, so Spain and Belgium now purchase donor sperm overseas to meet the growing demand.

Other Swedish visitors go to Denmark each year for insemination. Denmark allows single women to receive artificial insemination. In Canada, you are not allowed to pay donors to provide sperm or eggs. Canadian women can get sperm from the United States. Eggs are not allowed to be imported, however. Canadian women continue to go abroad to get such treatment.


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The Different Treatments You Get in Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is fast becoming a preferred choice among individuals living in big countries like Canada, United Kingdom and the United States because of lower cost and added convenience and luxury. There are now various treatments available and people can expect to get the highest quality care available anywhere in the world. Some countries, however, are known to be experts in some types of treatment. Here are the different procedures.

About ACLS

ACLS stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery or Repair. The procedure aims to reconnect a torn ACL ligament. There are 4 total ligaments that stabilize the knee, and ACL is one of these. Among the four, the ACL is the most commonly damaged. Some individuals choose to have ACLS abroad if they suddenly feel unstableness in their knee while playing sports, after a rehabilitation program or if the problem has long been existent.

The procedure generally takes around 1 to 2 hours. ACLS does not require patients to stay in the hospital. As a medical tourist, you can choose to get back to your hotel right after the procedure and continue to recuperate there. After a few days, you may take tours that do not require a lot of walking or heavy lifting. Patients can go back to their home country 1 to 2 days after the procedure.

About Hip Replacement

Total hip replacement or THR is one of the most common surgeries that patients look for abroad. The procedure involves rebuilding a damaged or deteriorated hip joint for it to return to optimal and functional condition. During the process, an artificial prosthesis can substitute for the damaged joint. A hip replacement is sought after by medical tourists who experience stiffness in their hips, thereby limiting leg movement, have problems with bending and are taking medications that lead to side effects or are not that effective. Patients can expect the surgery to last 1 to 3 hours.

When traveling abroad, you will be advised to take about 1 to 2 weeks off, since you will be staying inside the hospital for 4 to 10 days. Doctors will recommend patients to recuperate for 4 to 7 days before going back to their home country.

About Spinal Infusion

Some medical tourists go to destinations like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia to undergo spinal infusion. The procedure involves linking two vertebrae to get rid of the friction and extra motion in between. The lumbar spinal fusion can treat various conditions, such as scoliosis, slipped disk, degenerated disk, herniated disk and other injuries. The procedure is done when other types of treatment are not working.

Patients may also undergo the surgery abroad, aside from having other types of spinal surgery. Other techniques may be incorporated based on the condition of the patient and the extent of the damage. Patients can expect the surgery to last 3 to 4 hours. When traveling abroad, you should book for a minimum of 1 week, since you will be hospitalized for 3 to 4 days after the operation. Patients can return to their home country after 5 to 7 days.


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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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