Healthcare Abroad

Healthcare Abroad Related Terms:
Body Procedures, Breast Procedures, Cosmetic Surgery, Face Procedures, Health Tourism, Health Travel, Medical Outsourcing, Medical Overseas, Medical Tourism, Medical Travel, Medical Value Travel, Offshore Medical, Plastic Surgery, Skin Procedures, Suregry Overseas, Surgeon, Surgery Overseas

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Healthcare Abroad

Healthcare Abroad is the practice of traveling to another country in order to receive medical attention. Thanks to Internet technology, more affordable international travel, and major advances in medical science, Healthcare Abroad is becoming less of a novelty and more of a global trend Depending on the location and procedure, a medical vacation can cost 50%, 30%, or even 10% of what you would pay at home.  Even when you factor in air fare, hotels, travel insurance, car rentals, shopping, and dining, many medical vacations are substantially more affordable than domestic health care is. 

Every year thousands of patients take the opportunity to go to popular destinations around the world for all types of medical treatments, healthcare needs, checkups and cosmetic procedures. While affordability and time are still the main reasons why patients travel across borders for surgery, quality care and 5-star treatments are major factors as well.  In fact, medical procedures abroad are often better than what you would expect from primary health care centers back home. International travel, mass communication, and more lenient trade policies make it possible for those with modest means to enjoy the benefits of world-class health care in the form of Healthcare Abroad.

 Many countries offer discount Healthcare Abroad world wide. Some of the best destinations for international Healthcare Abroad include India, Thailand, Singapore and Mexico. Central and South American countries like Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil and Argentina also have top quality medical expertise to offer but also have great travel destinations where one can enjoy a medical vacation. Cosmetic surgery clinics offer services in countries such as Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Venezuela.

Why not use that will help you manage your whole travel experience, starting from the virtual consultation up to the actual booking, flights etc.

There are three categories that can suit prospective patients:

Elective surgery - A large number of  Healthcare  tourists seek out elective procedures such as cosmetic, plastic, dental and wellness treatments that are not covered by insurance plans.

Underinsured - As insurers cut back on their coverage and insurance costs increase, more individuals find  themselves ‘underinsured’. High deductibles, co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses, wait-lists and limited physician choices force many patients to seek out alternative treatments. Others find that the care they need is not covered under their insurance plans.

Uninsured - These individuals, many of which are self-employed, frequently find themselves delving into their hard-earned savings to finance their medical care. According to a Harvard study, half of personal bankruptcies are related to medical expenses. Thus, Healthcare Abroad is an increasingly popular solution among the uninsured population.

Research is the first step to successful Healthcare Abroad travel. Make sure that you do your research on the following:

The Procedure:   Find out about the procedure and compare your expectations with what is achievable by the surgery. Also inquire about follow-up care needed, time required for recovery, physical therapy, etc.

The Hospital:   When selecting the hospital that is right for your needs, you should consider the hospital`s accreditation, awards and recognitions, facility and equipments, statistics like success rates, etc.

The Surgeon:   Check the certifications, training and repute of the surgeon who will be treating you.

The Destination Country:   You should base your selection on quality, distance and cost.

Always work with your local doctor and inform him about your decision to travel overseas for treatment. You may need his assistance prior to the surgery for furnishing the health records required by the international hospital and post surgery for any follow-up checks that may be required.

Bring the following documents with you:
Medical Records:   Medical records like X-Rays, MRI`s, health histories, photographs, immunization records, prescriptions, and any other health records relevant to the surgery. Remember to carry all these medical reports and any medicines in your carry-on luggage.

Passport and Visa:  You will need a passport for yourself and your travel companion (if any). Depending upon the country you are traveling to, you may or may not need a visa. Check with your destination country`s embassy for the same.

Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Travelers Checks:  Bring some local currency,  travelers checks and one or two major credit cards and debit cards.

Driver`s license:   Carry your driver`s license and make sure it will remain valid while you`re traveling.

For each document, make copies and leave one set of copies at a safe place at home.

Keep the following contact information handy:
1. Emergency contacts like relatives and friends
2. Destination embassy
3. Hospital
4. Hotel
5. Local surgeon / doctor
6. Employer
You should allow ample time for recovery after your surgery before you travel back home.  Be prepared to stay longer when advised by your doctor. In some other cases, you may not need to stay for as long as was expected.

Healthcare Abroad carries some risks that local medical procedures do not have. If complications do arise, patients might not be covered by insurance or be able to seek compensation via malpractice lawsuits. New insurance products are available that do protect the patient should a medical malpractice occur overseas.   Some Healthcare Abroad destinations provide some form of legal remedies for medical malpractice. However, this legal venture is unappealing to the Healthcare  Abroad tourist. Advocates of  Healthcare Abroad Travel advise prospective tourists to evaluate the unlikely legal challenges against the benefits of such a trip before undergoing any surgery abroad.

Some countries, such as India, Malaysia, Costa Rica, or Thailand have different infectious diseases than Europe and North America, and different strains of the same diseases compared to nations such as the U.S., Canada, and the UK. Exposure to disease without having built up natural immunity can be a hazard for weakened individuals, specifically for gastrointestinal diseases (e.g.  Hepatitis A, amoebic dysentery, paratyphoid) which could weaken progress, also mosquito-transmitted diseases, influenza, and tuberculosis (e.g., 75% of South Africans have latent TB).

Travel soon after surgery can increase the risk of complications, as can vacation activities. For example, scars will be darker and more noticeable if they sunburn while healing. Long flights can be bad for those with heart (thrombosis) or breathing-related problems.
Since diseases run the gamut in poor tropical nations, doctors seem to be more open to the possibility of infectious diseases, including HIV, TB, and  typhoid. There are cases in the West where patients were consistently misdiagnosed for years because such diseases are perceived to be "rare" in the West.

For hospitals and doctors seeking to provide Healthcare Abroad services, there is the risk of being sued by an unsatisfied patient, so medical indemnity services such as those provided by the Medical Protection Society are essential.

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