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Houston Medical Tourism
Houston Medical Tourism Related Terms:
Houston Cosmetic Surgery, Houston Global Health Care, Houston Health Abroad, Houston Health Tourism, Houston Health Travel, Houston Healthcare Abroad, Houston Medical Health, Houston Medical Outsourcing, Houston Medical Overseas, Houston Medical Travel, Houston Medical Value Travel, Houston Offshore Medical, Houston Plastic Surgery, Houston Surgeon, Houston Surgery Overseas, Medical Tourism In Houston TX Texas
Medical Tourism is also known as Medical Travel, Health Tourism, Health Travel, Medical Value Travel, Healthcare Abroad, Medical Overseas, Overseas Medical, Surgery Overseas, Medical Outsourcing and Offshore Medical. Medical tourism can be described as a healthy holiday. In most cases, medical tourists are not your average vacationers opting for medical or cosmetic treatment, just because it is available, but patients with significant health concerns for whom the cost of their health-care is a primary concern and the vacation aspect a secondary one. Indeed, someone needing medical or cosmetic treatment would not go abroad if the `affordable healthcare` factor-quality of treatment, cost savings and wait time did not justify it. As long as you are healthy enough to travel, you stand to benefit from medical tourism’s offerings.
Medical Tourism is a combination of wellness and healthcare coupled with leisure and relaxation which is aimed at rejuvenating a person mentally, physically and emotionally, drawing away from his daily routine to a relaxed environment in an exotic location. Medical Tourism is the process of traveling abroad to receive superior medical, and cosmetic care by highly skilled surgeons at some of the most modern and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world. This means that those who choose medical tourism are able to utilize the services of some of the top surgeons in the world, all while enjoying exotic locales and accommodations. Patients can put the money they are saving on the procedure into turning their journey into a magnificent, world-class retreat. For millions of patients, it is the only way to get the needed or desired medical treatment, without wiping out their entire life-savings.
Many countries offer discount medical tourism world wide. Some of the best destinations for international medical tourism 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.
There are three categories that can suit prospective patients:
Elective surgery - A large number of medical 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, medical tourism is an increasingly popular solution among the uninsured population.
Research is the first step to successful medical tourism 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
5. Local surgeon / doctor
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.
Medical tourism 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 Medical Tourism destinations provide some form of legal remedies for medical malpractice. However, this legal venture is unappealing to the medical tourist. Advocates of medical tourism 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 Medical Tourism 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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