Undoubtedly, the cost of living is soaring with every passing day and so is the cost of medical care. It is becoming extremely difficult to deal with the cost of medical facilities, particularly for serious medical conditions.
This is the reason why more and more people are choosing to seek medical care from countries like India where the facilities come at much cheaper and affordable prices. This practice of traveling to another country for cheap medical care and treatment is termed as Medical Tourism.
Medical tourism is becoming more common due to various reasons including the likes of non-availability of facilities locally, expensive treatment, lack of desired insurance, lack of local expertise for the said conditions and so on. Statistics state that 1.6 million people from the United States alone travel to other countries for medical care. Around 14 million patients travel abroad and spend an average of 3800 – 6000 US dollars for every visit. Isn’t that whopping? Yes, it is!
However, before you make your plan to visit a country for its cheap medical care, it is essential that you keep all the tourist safety precautions in mind just to stay safe, and have hassle-free treatment.
Here is a quick list of all the basic precautions that you as a medical tourist should consider. Check out.
1. Seek guidance and recommendations
Before making a plan to visit another country for medical help, it is important to seek advice related to your particular health issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests consulting a travel health provider. This is perhaps because flying can create additional problems to the already existing ones, which is the least you would ask for.
Therefore, it is important to get a thorough understanding of all the risks involved before traveling for medical purposes. In addition, it is important to learn in detail about the place where you want to get the treatment done. Research on the success rates of the treatment of that particular health condition and understand the type of care you are going to receive in the destination country just to be sure that it is a well-informed decision.
2. Catalog your documents
Once you have decided to travel across the globe for medical care, the next crucial step is to organize and catalog your paperwork. Doing this will make your trip easy and free of commotion.
Make sure you keep all the documents pertaining to your condition like scans, reports, doctor’s appraisals, prescriptions, treatment records and so on in order. Use an organizer to keep things in order and make copies of all the documents. It can be difficult to procure any documents left behind once you reach the destination. Speak to the doctor in the destination country and enquire about all the documents they need to complete your treatment. Also, keep your documents required for travel such as visa, passport, credit or debit cards, letter from the hospital etc. at a proper place to avoid chaos and trouble later on.
3. Equip yourself for recovery
It is important to understand the technicalities and specifics of the treatment you will be going through in order to equip and prepare yourself for recovery. The most crucial part of every treatment or surgery is postoperative recovery.
In order to reap the benefits of Medical tourism in India, it is important to follow up with the same doctor to keep your progress in check after surgery or treatment. Therefore, it is necessary to plan for details like your stay after the procedure and the need for someone to help you with the recovery. You can speak to the hospital overseas to guide you regarding the same.
4. Safeguard against fraud
Along with medical tourism benefits, there are a few associated drawbacks too. To make the best out of it, you should stay alert and protect yourself from fraud and theft.
It is highly recommended to keep your medical identity safe from theft by securing your insurance documents, social security number, and medical records. Keep your insurer informed about your treatment and the costs pertaining to it.
Do not share your personal data with anyone over the email or phone. Further, read all the documents carefully before signing them. Keep your insurance ID and your insurance card safe especially after the procedure when you are physically weak.
5. Keep in touch
During your stay when on medical tour, it is important to keep in touch with your near and dear ones back home. Make sure to keep them updated with your progress every day. This way both you and they can be free from any anxiety related to the treatment. Check if your hospital too can keep your family informed regarding the process of the procedure and your progress.
Over to You
While you can easily fetch cheap and better medical care in other countries, it is equally important to have a detailed picture of the facilities you will be able to avail overseas and the credentials of the doctor treating you. It is thus highly recommended to speak to other people who have received similar treatment from the said place to prepare yourself well-in-advance.