8 common medical tourism mistakes to avoid
Traveling abroad for medical treatment is a popular choice among a number of people these days. There are many reasons for patients to cross the border in search of healthcare services. People flocked abroad hoping that they could get a more effective answer to their illnesses – provided by internationally certified experts in combination with advanced technologies. Other reasons include cost-saving, patient-friendly services, and unavailability of certain procedures in the local healthcare industry.
As international traveling becomes much cheaper and easier, more and more people have been actively seeking treatment abroad. For those who intend to go on a medical trip, make sure to avoid the 8 following common medical tourism mistakes.
1. Not searching for information in advance
The main mistake most medical travelers make is failing to gather enough accurate information – in fact, this is the most important step to finish before taking the flight. Essential things to look out for include information about the destination country, its healthcare system, hospitals, and specialist doctors.
2. Not choosing the destination country carefully
Different countries are known for different medical specialties and treatments. For example, India is a recommended choice for patients who want to perform bone surgery and heart disease procedures. On the other hand, Thailand is quite popular as an option for those who wish to receive dental treatment and plastic surgery.
It’s important to find out which country is the right choice for you – so as to ensure the optimal results. Another common mistake is failing to consider the traveling distance. Depending on your own health problems, you may want to choose a destination country that is not too far from your own.
3. Not learning about the hospital
Choosing the best hospital for treatment abroad is not an easy job. Moreover, there are many rows of the best hospitals that are often referred to by international patients. This makes the decision-making process much more tricky, and it may cause you to end up with an unfavorable choice. Sometimes, the patient may end up at a high-quality hospital – in return, the expenses are so high, and he/she has to wait for too long to perform the treatment.
For those who are planning to go abroad for medical treatment, make sure not to take this step lightly. If possible, choose a hospital that already has an international Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, adequate medical technologies, as well as a team of experienced doctors and medical personnel.
4. Not estimating the total expenses
One reason many people seek treatment abroad is affordable medical costs. However, to achieve this, you need to look for information about the cost of treatment at the hospital – including consultation, examination, treatment measures, surgery (if any), medicines, hospitalization, and post-treatment fees (if any).
In addition, the cost of daily living in the destination country also needs to be taken into consideration. These include food, transportation, and vacation costs (if you intend to travel as well). If you already know the estimated cost of spending, save up on more money to prepare for unexpected costs.
Another factor that you need to consider is health insurance. If you already have one, be sure to ask what treatment measures are covered by the health insurance party.
You may want to read: 8 Budgeting Tips for Your Medical Trip Abroad
5. Not understanding the local procedures
Every hospital in a country has their respective policies. It is essential that you understand these policies well before getting on board – so as to avoid wasting your valuable time. For example, in Malaysia, the procedure at every hospital is to take twice the queue number – the first is the hospital queue and the second is for the specialists. For this reason, it’s best to arrive at the hospital early in the morning to get an early queue number. If you need to receive treatment for the umpteenth time, make an appointment with the doctor before leaving so that you don’t get stuck in a long, snaking line.
6. Ignoring language differences
Another common mistake most medical travelers make is not learning about the spoken language of medical staff in the destination country. At hospitals that receive international patients frequently, most doctors and medical staff are already proficient in English. However, sometimes you should check if the hospital provides translation services or not.
7. Not booking accommodation in advance
Do not wait until you arrive at the destination country to look for a place to live – this will take you a lot of time. In addition, there’s every likelihood that you will not be able to find an empty room at a hotel near the hospital – especially if the hospital is a well-known choice among medical tourists.
In other words, you should book accommodation before leaving to save time while in the destination country – and to minimize the risk of having no place to stay.
8. Going alone
Try not to go abroad alone, especially for the purpose of medical treatment. Bring a family member with you during your trip. Traveling long distances, especially overseas, can make you feel stressed. Your family members can help when you need something and make you feel more comfortable.
The presence of family members can provide you with physical and emotional support. The good news is – there are several hospitals that offer rooms for patients’ relatives.
If you are fond of, yet also daunted by the idea of traveling abroad for treatment, please contact GO.CARE for further assistance. As a medical travel company, we provide patients with a network of internationally trusted clinics and hospitals. By using our services, you will be able to compare treatment prices and receive consultation about the best hospital and treatment plan for your condition. We make sure that you will have a memorable trip and return home safely.
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GO.CARE does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment services.