What is Medical Tourism?
This can be explained as the procedure of travelling abroad for the purpose of receiving medical care, and it is also named Medical Travel or Global Health Care. The short definition can be “going abroad for medical care”. US people are estimated the most in this area, and this may be because some medical tourists are immigrants in the United States of America who prefer to go back to their home country for medical treatments. This can be true in other countries, too. Nowadays people are taking trips from richer developed countries to less-developed ones in order to access health services. Most common medical treatments are dental care, plastic and elective surgeries, fertility treatments and medical care. These wellness services are presented in high-end hospitals and clinics located in major urban centers.
What is Domestic Medical Tourism? (Local Medical Tourism)
Domestic Medical Tourism is travelling from one city to another within one country for the kind of medical care that is less expensive than one’s own city or state or it’s accessible there. This kind of tourism is a recent concept in the medical tourism industry and it is rapidly picking space specially in countries like the USA. It is also known as Local Medical Tourism, Inbound Medical Tourism, and In-Country Medical Travel. It is a beneficial kind of Medical Tourism due to the high quality of care that is going to be received, the shorter distance that is going to be travelled. Besides there would not be any language or cultural barriers and there is also access to legal resources.
What Motivates Medical Tourism?
Main drivers of Medical Tourism are mentioned below :
- Most advanced and latest technology
- Better qualified care
- Quicker and easier access to medical procedures
- Lower price for care
- Incredible cost saving
- No waiting lists
- Receiving world-class facilities
- Personalized service
- Longer hospital stay
- Great convenience
- Taking trips and visiting other countries
- Seeking out adventure
- Using the trip as an opportunity to see people that passengers would not normally see
- As a chance to have a family holiday
- A bonding opportunity
- Taking control over one’s own health care
- A growing trend towards globalization of services including health care
- An increasing population of baby boomers in need of care
- Medical Tourism facilitators are appealingly advertising their services
When did Medical Tourism begin?
You will be surprised by knowing the fact that this is not a new phenomenon. Archeological evidence shows a history of third millennium B.C. . A few thousand years later the Greeks and Romans made the habit of travelling for spas around the Mediterranean. In the 16th and 17th centuries spa towns became the main destinations for European upper class people to calm down their illnesses. During the last 15 years, increasing numbers of patients have begun travelling from developed nations to undeveloped ones in search of less expensive or not available at home treatment options.
Is Medical Tourism safe?
You may have heard some bad news or stories about it, but on the other hand there are thousands of patients travelling safely within and outside countries for medical care. The focus of patient safety is upon the hospital, clinic or doctor who is carrying out the treatment. For proven treatments, the hospitals, clinics and doctors (and medical tourism facilitators) can reassure the patient by providing proof of qualifications, accreditations; experience and so on… and in some cases may be prepared to provide data on clinical outcomes.
What are the risks of Medical Tourism?
Certain risks of medical tourism depend largely on the area being visited and the performances, but some general topics have been identified:
- Communication can be a problem. Not speaking the language fluently may increase the possibility of misunderstanding.
- Medication can be of poor quality in some countries.
- Antibiotic resistance is a global issue; And the resistant bacteria can be likely more common in the destination country.
- Flying after the surgery can enlarge the probability of blood clots.
How to reduce the risks of Medical Tourism?
You can take lower risks by gathering information and having a good insurance. Insurances bring long-term medical coverage abroad. They are different periods of insurance which can be bought and they can be renewed up to three years. These type of insurances offer comprehensive medical cover, a vast network of worldwide health providers and 24-hour multilingual travel support. It is substantial that travelers don’t get stuck with unpredictable medical bills. Also hitting off with your own doctor can reassure you. This service is available at “Mediranco”.
What can we do to lower the risks of Medical Tourism?
- If our trip is planned to another country for medical care, we should visit a travel medicine practitioner minimum 4-6 weeks before the trip to discuss general information for a safe travel and the risks related to before and after the medical procedure.
- All our current medical conditions should be well controlled and our regular health care provider has to be aware of our plans.
- The qualifications of the health care providers must be checked and the facilitators should be trustworthy. Also we should check if all the necessary and standard equipment and facilities are available.
- A written agreement with the health care facilitators or the trip arranging group is needed. It has to cover all the details related to the caring process and all the costs.
- If we don’t speak their language, we have to determine the way we are going to communicate with doctor and people in charge of doing the treatments.
- We have to have the copy of our medical records.
- Copies of all our prescriptions and a list of medicines we take is also needed.
- Our follow up care with our local care provider should be arranged in advance.
- Before planning our vacation activities, we should know all the limitations we are going to face after the medical care.
- Before returning home, all our new health records should be with us.
Who are Medical Tourism facilitators?
Presumably you have heard of them while searching about Medical Tourism. They are an important part of this industry. Medical Tourism facilitators or Health Care facilitators are companies functioning as intermediaries or connectors between patients and medical providers. They are specially-trained for passengers with very special needs. They also evaluate clinical quality and safety. There would be an appointment scheduler. They are in charge of payment transactions, too. Their groups are very interesting, and consist of some doctors and nurses, some travel planners, and others are people who have heard about this subject and are capable of doing different services.
They can be found all over the internet but it is advisable to work with secure companies. We would be honored to provide you with decent service at “Mediranco”.