Tips On Medical Tourism
All experts highly recommend patients to do a lot of research first before they travel abroad. They can become victims to scams and unscrupulous individuals. Some may become victims of medical malpractice and other errors because the medical institution failed to comply with the given standards or does not have sufficient accreditation.
First, study and review the procedure you are going through. Are you healthy physically and mentally to undergo treatment? Know the different effects, results, risks and possible complications that can arise. You should also consider the health risks and other potential complications that may arise from traveling far distances or staying cramped inside the plane after surgery or treatment. Determine how much time you will need off from work, how long the treatment will take, if you need follow-up care and how long before you can return to your home country. Also check if you will need other types of treatment afterwards like physical therapy, etc.
Hospital and Surgeon Background
Since more and more hospitals are getting into medical tourism, you should now check for accreditation to ensure that the standards and medical practices sufficiently meet the requirements set by the biggest agencies. Check for accreditation by the JCI, Trent, ISO, JCAHO, etc. You can also compare hospitals and pick the ones that have received numerous awards and achievements.
Identify the success rate, which means how many successful operations and treatments have been done. The figures may be displayed in percentage. Check the available equipment and facilities and how often the institution upgrades these. You should also determine which particular procedures the hospital is known to be good at. Check if majority of the staff understands English or are English-speaking.
Talk to the surgeon who will be doing the surgery. Ask the necessary questions, such as your diet and exercise regimen days before the operation, medical and health hazards, possible risks and complications, medication regimen afterwards and the duration of hospitalization. You should ensure that the doctor is well-experienced in the type of surgery to be done. Ask for some referrals and talk to previous patients to get the full details.
Preparing the Documents
Some foreign countries will not require you to get a visa, but will require you to stay only for a limited period, such as 60 to 90 days. You should consider the distance and talk to your local physician to update him about the developments. Prepare your passport and visa, credit cards, traveler's check, identification cards, driver's license, etc. You should include IDs with your photo and full information on it, just in case you get lost or accidents occur.