Medical Travel

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

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Medical Travel

Medical Travel is the option to consider going abroad for affordable cosmetic and medical surgery.   Medical Travel is a combination of wellness and healthcare coupled with leisure and relaxation which is aimed at rejuvenating a person mentally, physically and emotionally. Medical Travel takes the individual away from his daily routine to a relaxed environment in an exotic location.  Medical Travel 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.

 Some surgeries are for reconstructive purposes, such as those that are performed after an accident or for the purpose of correcting birth deformities, others are performed so that the patient can feel more confident in looks.   Procedures including breast implants and reductions, dental surgery, tummy tucks, nose jobs are to name a few. One of the most common reasons for going abroad for cosmetic surgery is the definite savings on the cost of procedures. In the UK, USA and Canada, costs are at a level where many people can not afford it. Therefore going abroad is an option which offers a solution.

Countries in which cosmetic surgery costs are much lower and where patients can opt for such procedures   are Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Eastern Europe, South Africa or Argentina. Other areas where cosmetic surgery is also administered abroad include Mexico, Brazil, India, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

People travel to these countries from locations such as the United States, Canada, and countries in Europe in order to receive the same great cosmetic surgery operations for a fraction of the cost back home. One of the reasons that a less expensive new look can be found in these countries is due to the fact that there are surgeons within these countries, that are just as qualified as ones found in most Western and European Countries. Having received the same type of arduous training, that many medical doctors or surgeons have received elsewhere, yet the standard of living may be lower in certain areas of the world so therefore, they charge less for the procedures carried out.

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There are three categories that can suit prospective patients:

Elective surgery - A large number of medical travel 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 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.

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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.

Medical travel 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 Travel destinations provide some form of legal remedies for medical malpractice. However, this legal venture is unappealing to the medical travel tourist. Advocates of medical 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 Medical Travel 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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medical travel - News update:
Commenting on the Department of Health's announcement on the new national vascular risk screening programme, Sue Sharpe, CEO, PSNC said: "We are very pleased that the government is committed to developing community pharmacy's role in tackling vascular disease. More...

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