Medical tourism: Hidden Costs - GO.CARE Blog

Medical tourism: Hidden Costs

Author: Hào Nghiêm
Review Date: August 5, 2018 | Last Modified: September 25, 2019
Medical tourism: Hidden Costs

What are the other things that you have to pay for during a medical trip? Let’s find our these issues with GO.CARE!

Medical tourism refers to people leaving their home country in search of treatments for their conditions across borders. The forces behind can either be the cheaper cost or a better healthcare quality. However, this honey-pot-like trend of medical tourism has had so many people coaxed into it to the point they seem to forget that whenever there is a boon, there is always a bane following. And when a bane has anything to do with your health, you know it’s a big bane.

Difficulty In Communication

The difference in language is definitely among the demerits of medical tourism. People are used to assuming English as a universal language and overlook the fact that not everyone in Asia, the rising destination for medical tourism, is as fluent in English, especially when it comes to specialization. Just imagine how the chance of misunderstanding in communicating your conditions to the doctors or the staffs there will increase when receiving care at a facility where a common language is not available.

Of course you can always consider hiring an interpreter to solve the language problem, still, it’s not guarantee a zero chance of miscommunication. You know how things go when people speaking in the same language can still misunderstand the other’s ideas sometimes, let alone the message being conveyed by a third person. After all, you might want to be extra careful when it comes to the matter of health.

Inaccurate price estimates

Before going abroad for treatment, you have for sure looked into the cost of the procedures you will undergo. But what about the other expenses? Like accommodations and other living necessities, not to mention the expense for recovery facilities, extended hospital stay, or tests and exams that follow the procedure. There are also cases where people, unintentionally or not, provide doctors with their insufficient previous medical history. This can easily lead to the doctors having to prescribe additional medication or treatment that will probably add up to the planned budget being exceeded.

A lot of time, it’s only when people have been in the middle of the procedure do they realize that their planned budget is insufficient. Some might be able to manage the money, but the others are not that lucky or capable of doing so. In the worst scenario, the patients may have to go back to their home with their conditions left untreated or incompletely treated, or they will be left waiting for the fund to be raised while their situations are getting worse day by day.

You get what you pay for

It’s ok if people travel for a better quality of medical treatment, but if the purpose of your traveling is to take advantage of the cheaper cost, you might want to think twice before going. At first glance, medicinal tourism can resemble a noteworthy cash saver. You have this treatment in your country, but the price seems to cost you an arm or a leg. Then you find out about the same treatment in another country but the price is just half or even a third of what you have searched earlier at home. But don’t you wonder how can they manage the procedure at such a low cost?

A lower medical standard can be one of the reasons and it’s definitely worth your considering. Maybe these institutions don’t need to invest in stringent and robust infection control procedures and safety checks that are required in your country,  or maybe their regulation allow the reusing of some medical tools that can result in risks of spreading bacteria and even diseases like hepatitis or HIV. Who knows? You better get the information about these or you might get the lower cost you want, yet at the expense of the health that you have traveled all the way to restore.

Follow-up Care

Sometimes, the post-procedure care can be very crucial in deciding how well your recovery is. Especially for some major procedures in which surveillance can last up to years, you might want your doctors to be close by for the sake of accessibility. That requirement of yours will not be met with medical tourism. Instead, you will have to prepare contingency plans for emergency follow-up if needed upon your return home. And when it comes to contingency plans, the risk involved is never in the form of a small figure.

The Lack of Legal Recourses

You might not want to think of it, but there are always chances of your treatment going in an undesirable direction. And when this happens, especially when the fault lies in the hand of the in the institution you have chosen yourself, you might come to realize that whether it’s the bad treatment or the bad medication, you have no way to hold the provider accountable for it. In the end, it’s complicated to pursue a case overseas. Even though you are the one who is harmed, the fact that you don’t have legal rights at that particular country can prevent you from receiving the compensation.

At the end of the day, medical tourism is becoming a burgeoning industry, but don’t easily pack yourself for a trip that you don’t actually know about its every aspect. Doing your research properly before making any decision will leave you with no regret.

If there are so many problems that stop you from taking a medical trip, just contact with GO.CARE  and we will help you to make a plan for getting treatment abroad in the easiest way.