The medical tourism industry is currently valued at 100B. It’s slated to grow 25% by 2025. There are many reasons for this. Medical procedures are often less expensive overseas. This is especially true when it comes to elective treatments not covered by insurance. Others seek treatments and procedures not available in their own countries.
Women may seek overseas treatment for dental care, cosmetic surgery, cardiac issues, fertility treatments, even joint replacement. When things work out well, they can receive excellent care, get great results, and save money. Unfortunately, negative outcomes are also a possibility. To avoid these, and have the best possible experience, check out these ten tips.
1. Make a Recovery Plan
Depending on the procedure you undergo, your recovery protocol will vary. For example, you may need to plan to stay in the hospital for a few days. You might also need to find a hotel that coordinates with your medical provider in order to ensure that you receive transportation to and from the medical center and proper monitoring.
It’s also important that you fully understand what you need to do in the days and weeks immediately after your procedure in order to heal property. Here are some questions to ask:
● Will I need to restrict or limit my diet?
● Should I bring a caregiver with me?
● Are there exercises that will help me heal faster?
● When am I safe to drive or fly?
● When can I resume regular activities?
2. Coordinate With Your Primary Care Physician
Even if you are pursuing medical treatment against the advice of your primary care provider, please do not hide this from them. They need to know what treatment you have received, medications you will be taking, and whether or not there were any complications. There’s a good chance they will play at least some role in your aftercare. If they are supportive of your decision, they will be a good source of advice along the way.
There is always a chance that your doctor will be so opposed to your decision that they seek to terminate the doctor patient relationship. If this is the case, please be aware that your doctor must help you to seek out another provider, help you transition to that provider, and cooperate with anyone providing your medical care.
3. Seek Out Recommendations
Because medical tourism is so popular, there are plenty of conversations about it online. Find discussion groups related to the topic of receiving medical treatment overseas. Connect with people who’ve had your procedure done, ask for recommendations.. Read reviews of medical centers and physicians.
Most importantly, get as many personal stories as you can. This way you understand the experience from the perspective of women who have undergone the same procedure or treatment before you. This information can help you to be sure you want to undergo the procedure, choose the right treatment provider, and understand what to expect.
4. Start The Process Earlier
Depending on what you’re having done, your financial situation, and where you plan on being treated, the entire process can take several months. In some cases, it could take a year to get everything together. Give yourself enough time to get everything done.
Start with researching, then move on to contacting and interviewing service providers. At this point, you should be ready to book flights, make reservations, plan your recovery, and prepare for your trip.
5. Get Your Records in Order
There are plenty of documents you might need to receive decent medical treatment, and ensure your stay goes smoothly. These include your Passport, photo identification, insurance cards, plane tickets, boarding passes, hotel reservations, prescriptions, and more. If any of these items needs to be translated into a foreign language, use a professional .
Keep everything that is urgent on you in a pouch or carry on bag. It’s also an excellent idea to send documentation ahead of time. This way you lower the risk of anything getting lost in transit.
6. Demand Credentials
You have the right to know that the people who will be treating you and providing your aftercare are educated, licensed, and qualified. Find out what is required to legally practice medicine and perform the procedure you are having done in the country to which you are travelling. Then, ask anyone who is part of your treatment team to provide evidence that they are fully credentialed.
7. Stay in Contact With Loved Ones
Remember that you are going to be in a foreign country in a medically vulnerable state. Please make every effort to bring someone you trust with you. Then, when you arrive stay in contact with friends or family members. Give them location and contact information for the hospital, doctor, and hotel. Let them know when you move locations. Finally, don’t forget to pass that contact information on to your care providers. They can provide updates or otherwise contact people if you aren’t able to do so.
8. Prepare For Medical Emergencies
Work with your physician to ensure that you have a plan in place for any emergencies. Take along copies of all of your prescriptions. Know what the potential complications can be for your procedure. If you have a DNR or medical power of attorney bring that documentation with you, and let your medical team know who your power of attorney is. Discuss potential treatment options as well. It may also be a good idea to ensure that you have enough money available for an emergency flight home or to cover any unexpected expenses.
9. Be Vigilant About Fraud And Identity Theft
Hopefully, the research you have done will help you to select care providers and ancillary service providers that you can trust. Still, you’ll be spending quite a bit of money. You’ll be providing personal information, account numbers, and other data. That sensitive information will go through many hands and many computer systems. Monitor your accounts before, during, and after your treatment. Make sure that your payments are only processed under secure conditions. Keep your documentation safe, and lock up or shred anything with identifying information.
10. Make Sure Any Health Conditions Are Under Control
You will get the best results, and reduce any risks if you get any existing health conditions under control. This means taking needed medications as prescribed, making an effort to stay at a healthy weight, and obeying any instructions you receive before your procedure. If any conditions reveal themselves while you are waiting to be treated, always let your doctor know. Undisclosed health conditions can impact your reaction to anesthesia among other things.
Thanks to medical tourism, women can seek medical treatment that is more affordable to them. They also have the freedom to seek treatment that may not be available to them otherwise. By following the ten tips above, they can ensure their treatment is healthy, safe, effective, and cost friendly.
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